TRY 2013: Measuring a Reference Services Point Pilot Project Notes

  • Heather Buchansky, UofT
  • Judith Logal, UofT


  • was on the 4th floor
  • but no longer need to be attached to print collection
  • Oct 2012 moved to 1st floor
  • south end of circulation desk


  • did usual stats
  • plus user survey with pen & paper, iPad


  • 1st floor became entrance because more accessible
  • reference didn’t move to 1st floor earlier, because needed IT support for undergrads


  • Did you use Research Help when it was on 4th floor? 1/2, 1/2
  • majority users preferred 1st floor, particularly because of convenience
  • when preferred 4th floor, because quieter, more space, closer to print collection, closer to public user computer
  • number of reference questions continued to decreased, but mostly decrease of brief/lookup question
  • small % leaving the desk, rarely to 5th floor


  • only looking at location
  • no change in model, not blended
  • no layout of desk

UTM Pilot

  • looked at layout of desk itself
  • did some marketing
  • renovated to be more visible
  • more collaborative space using round table
  • students like large computer screens, distinctive and more ergonomic furniture, more visible
  • large increase in number of questions/student visits

Conclusion & Future Directions

  • more ways for users to look for information and ask questions
  • currently, 9 different service points in the library
  • need to look at how it interacts with other service points
  • in-depth reference still important
  • pre-arranged consultations up 43%
  • Strategic Plan in the works
  • LibQUAL+
  • really need a more holistic view

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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