Library Research and Instructional Services
Outcomes Survey: Purposes and Uses
Thank you for taking part in this evaluation of a key Library service. We realize that surveys are an increasingly frequent and not always welcome part of University life. We are eager therefore to reduce any inconvenience and allay concerns this study might cause. To those ends, this page tries to anticipate some questions you might have about the survey. Feel free to contact us if you have a question that's not adequately addressed here.
Marjorie Hassen, Assistant Director for Research and Instructional Services
Why are we conducting this survey?
The feedback we receive from the survey will help to inform our services, which we are always trying to improve. We are particularly keen to know if the Library is helping students acquire the basic skills needed to perform research. As independent research becomes an increasingly important priority for undergraduates, research skills are a mo re important focus of our services and planning.
Why am I being contacted?
Libraries work better when they know what their customers know. As a user of our research services, you're in a good position to tell us if our impact is positive and on target. The survey comes a few weeks after the research appointment in order to allow students time to use what they may have learned in preparing for or carrying out their class projects.
Is my privacy at risk when using Library services or by answering this survey?
The Penn community's use of library services and resources is kept strictly confidential. It's a matter of policy. We do not disclose borrower records or systematically store information about other kinds of use without taking steps to purge personal information. This survey is no exception. We periodically undertake assessments of this kind, but when we do, we take pains to reduce the inconvenience they cause and protect the confidentiality of students and the staff with whom they work. The data generated by this survey are stripped of any identifying information before they are processed and vetted with Library staff or administrators. The email used to contact you is not part of a permanent record nor is it used to identify who you are.
What does the Data Farm branding on the survey form refer to?
The answers you submit to the survey are entered into a database for processing. That database is the Library Data Farm, a large repository of management information.