Minutes: Public Service Task Force August 20, 1998 Meeting Minutes

Present: Phyllis Bischof (co-chair), Nensi Brailo, Alison Brandt (recorder), Agnes Concepcion, Lynn Jones, Corliss Lee (co-chair), Rick Love, Chris Tarr, Bill Whitson

The task force roster and past meeting minutes are available on the LAUC web page: ../PSTF/ The roster is still incomplete pending addition of new members.

There was a discussion of library users, their wide variety and the difficulty in drawing conclusions about them. Nensi sent out a list of the categories of patrons who get borrowing privileges, which includes about 57 categories. Users can also be described in terms of their "information seeking behavior", and are varied in their level of experience, sophistication, searching skill, knowledge of a given subject area and their comfort with technology. Other influences on their behavior may include time of day/semester & the amount of time they have, urgency of their request. We do know that there are many students who don't know how to use the library and are unfamiliar with the majority of resources available to them. This fact is clear from user surveys.

There was discussion about whether reference services as currently comprised adequately satisfy the information needs our (actual and potential) clientele. In order for a person (patron) to get a (reference) question successfully answered, they need to

  1. know where to go and who to ask
  2. that person needs to be available
  3. that person needs to have competency
  4. that person needs to have appropriate tools available

Points of discussion related to these factors were marketing & outreach (#1), e-mail reference, location & numbers of service points (#2), and electronic resources and their interfaces (#4). These issues may also be possible topics for wider discussions.

Events are being planned for the Fall, beginning in October. There was a discussion about possible speakers and participants in panel discussions on particular public service topics.