The ISU Library seeks to continuously improve its facilities, collections, services and instruction through the careful analysis of management data and through the regular assessment of outcomes. The latter include student learning outcomes, and more general service quality outcomes.
Library administration monitors the following sources of data in planning for continuous improvement:
- Management statistics, including monthly statistics pertaining to facilities use; lending and in-house use of materials; interlibrary lending and borrowing; reference consultations; and instructional sessions. Statistics are also maintained for additions to the collections.
- Peer rankings within the 123-member Association of Research Libraries.
- Program reviews, which have focused either on the Library in its entirety, or on specific major programs within the Library, such as the e-Library (reviewed in 2004).
- User satisfaction surveys, designed to supplement the standardized LibQUAL+ survey with more customized and locally-focused user assessment activities.
- Interlibrary Loan cost and performance studies undertaken periodically by the Association of Research Libraries, and aimed at providing participating libraries with both comparative and longitudinal data regarding ILL costs, benefits, and performances. The studies also encourage the identification and sharing of best practices among ILL units in academe.
- Wisconsin/Ohio Reference Evaluation Program, a standardized, national-level survey aimed at assessing the outcome of reference transactions and identifying the factors related to success or lack of success in local reference service.
- Student learning outcomes assessment for Library 160, the Library's half-credit, information literacy course, aimed at helping students locate, evaluate, and use information resources in their learning and research.