MISO Survey, Bates College, 2012
Bates is one of 61 colleges and universities that have participated in the MISO Survey since it was first developed in 2005. The MISO (Measuring Information Service Outcomes) Survey was developed by the CIOs group convened by the Council on Library and Information Resources. With overall leadership for the project at Bryn Mawr College, Bates staff members were involved in the initial design of the survey. Additional information and some useful comparative data is available at the MISO Web site: www.misosurvey.org
The Survey provides a framework to assess the frequency of use, importance, satisfaction, and knowledge about library and technology services on a college campus on the part of students, faculty and staff members. It provides some detail on the kinds of services and technologies people use or are interested in learning about, what they think about facilities and services such as classrooms, and some basic demographic data that can be used to assess the differential impact of services among groups on campus. The survey also provides comparative data that can be used to put the results of an individual campus into context, and provides the opportunity to ask if results at Bates are typical among comparable colleges, or whether they stand out (positively or negatively) in any particular way.
The results allow us to understand the satisfaction levels of faculty, staff and student users. In particular, we analyzed satisfaction levels for services, concentrating on those rated as “very important” by the majority of each user group. We were also able to analyze how Bates faculty, staff and students views compare with other colleges with respect to how important they think the service is, how satisfied they are with the services, and to look at the levels of satisfaction in greater detail.
What did we learn?
We conducted this survey in 2005, 2008 and 2012. We have consistently found that liberal arts colleges are quite effective at delivering services of this kind, and that our services are among the best. In this context, the 2012 survey points to three basic conclusions:
- The perceived importance of our service to faculty, staff and students has continued to grow. By 2012, most of the services for which we gather specific information are now rated as “very Important” by the majority of users in all three groups.
- Users of all kinds have rated our services between 3 and 4 on a four-point scale (in MISO terms, between “somewhat satisfied” and “satisfied”), and the differences we highlight between Bates and our peer schools tend to be small but significant differences in this range.
- Since the results are generally very positive, we look for areas where users find our services less than satisfactory, so we can improve. In the 2012 survey, three critical deficiencies were identified by students, faculty and staff:
- The availability of the wireless network
- The speed of the wireless network
- The ways we provide access to Bates library and technology resources from off campus.
Projects are in place to focus on these concerns.
We plan to use this survey every few years to make sure that Bates continues to be a place where information and information technology are used to improve teaching, learning and business operations of the College, and to make sure we continue to achieve the highest standards for all the services we provide.