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Does What We Do Matter?: Intensive Ask-a-Librarian Statistics Tracking and Doubling-Down on Professional Librarian Expertise

Your Name and Title: Laureen P. Cantwell, Reference & Distance Services Librarian

Library, School, or Organization Name: Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, CO)

Co-Presenter Name(s): N/A

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Western Colorado, United States

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Library & Information Science Students & Professionals (especially those in/interested in public services and/or library administration)

Short Session Description (one line): In the brave, bold quest to assess whether what we do matters, librarians at Colorado Mesa University decided to start taking more intensive statistics for their Ask-a-Librarian interactions with students--and this session will discuss theirs plans, methodology, and preliminary findings.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like): Do the interactions you have with students through chat, the reference desk, telephone, and consultations have associations with student success at your institution? Colorado Mesa University's professional librarians within public services decided to pose this question--Does what we do matter?--and devised and carried-out a plan for studying it. We become part of the student success and retention commitments at our teaching-focused institution as a result--but even better we gathered quite a bit of interesting data. With assistance from our Office of Institutional Research, early data analysis shows a promising set of positive associations between CMU students’ success and interaction(s) with professional librarians via Ask-a-Librarian services. 

This session will share details on why we took this on, how we approached studying our research question (including the data we collected), how we analyzed that data, our preliminary findings, and our next steps. 

Note: CMU's project was part of the 2014-2015 Assessment-in-Action program (Year 2) and, as a result, we'll have a poster session at ALA Annual 2015. 

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: (Nothing yet; may revise at a later date.)

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