Janet L. Fransen

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    How do Engineering Students and Faculty use Library Resources?
    (American Society for Engineering Education, 2013-06-25) Fransen, Jan
    In 2011, library staff at a large Research I university began looking for ways to track use of library resources by students, faculty, and staff. Access points tracked in Fall 2011 ranged from loans and use of digital resources to workshop attendance and appointments with peer research consultants. Access points related to consultations with archivists and media librarians were added in Spring 2012. Working with campus institutional research staff, we were able to correlate Fall 2011 library use with higher term GPA and retention for first year students while controlling for other variables related to student success. The Student Success line of inquiry is useful for demonstrating that successful students do find value in the library. However, as students move beyond their first year, the factors contributing to student success become increasingly complex and interrelated. Therefore, while we continue to collect first year data and plan to check the correlation strength each semester, we are not extending this area of study beyond first year students. The rich dataset used for the Student Success analysis lends itself to another use, one that is arguably more “actionable” than the first: By aggregating the collected data over college, level (undergraduate, graduate student, etc.), and other groupings, we have our first good look at who is using library services (and who is not) as well as what they are doing. The work in progress combines data collection in the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters and focuses on just science and engineering students, faculty, and staff. As of this writing, we have conducted basic demographic analyses on how College of Science & Engineering (CSE) faculty and students differ from their colleagues in other colleges, and have investigated possible correlations between library use and student success indicators for CSE first year students. We have also uncovered data limitations that will affect how we use the collected data, and how we refine data collection in the future.
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    Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students’ Retention and Academic Success
    (2013-01-24) Soria, Krista; Fransen, Jan; Nackerud, Shane
    Academic libraries, like other university departments, are being asked to demonstrate their value to the institution. This study discusses the impact library usage has on the retention and academic success of first-time, first year undergraduate students at a large, public research university. Usage statistics were gathered at the University of Minnesota during the Fall 2011 semester for thirteen library access points. Analysis of the data suggests first-time, first-year undergraduate students who use the library have a higher GPA for their first semester and higher retention from fall to spring than non-library users.
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    Analyzing Demographics: Assessing Library Use Across the Institution
    (2013-01-24) Nackerud, Shane; Fransen, Jan; Peterson, Kate; Mastel, Kristen
    In Fall 2011, staff at the University of Minnesota Libraries-Twin Cities undertook a project to measure how often, and in what ways, students used the Libraries' services. Partnering with the University's Office of Institutional Research, the team investigated ways to match library service usage to individual accounts while retaining patron privacy to determine who was – and was not – using the library. With complete data sets, the group was able to determine overall usage rates for undergraduate and graduate students and compare how students in different colleges used library services. This article discusses data gathering techniques, analysis, and initial findings.
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    Parsing Citations using Visual Basic for Applications: A Step-by-Step Guide
    (2012-07-06) Fransen, Jan
    The most difficult hurdle in a citation analysis project is getting the citations from a set of bibliographies to a spreadsheet or database where they can be analyzed. When I approached my first citation analysis project in January 2011, I explored several methods for automating the process. This document describes the methods I tried, and their pros and cons, as well as the multi-step method I employed in the end. The process includes VBA code written for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Access. The code is not reproduced in this paper, but is available via email for other researchers wishing to use the same or a similar process.
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    Setting a Direction for Discovery: A Phased Approach
    (IGI Global, 2012) Fransen, Jan; Friedman-Shedlov, Lara; Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Traill, Stacie; Boudewyns, Deborah K. Ultan
    While many other academic libraries are currently or have recently faced the challenge of setting a new direction for their discovery platforms, the University of Minnesota is perhaps unique in its phased approach to the process. In the spring of 2011, the University of Minnesota Libraries appointed a Discoverability task force to identify a Web-scale discovery solution, the third phase in the Discoverability research process. Discoverability 3 Task Force members are now synthesizing the work of two previous phases and other relevant internal and external analyses to develop requirements and selection criteria for the solution. Some of these requirements and criteria are standard for any large-scale system implementation. Others were derived from the findings of the previous two phases of the Discoverability project. The authors discuss the Libraries’ phased approach to developing a vision for discovery and selecting a solution that puts the Libraries on a path to fulfilling that vision.
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    Discoverability: Investigating the Academic Library's Changing Role in Connecting People to Resources
    (2011-10-12) Fransen, Jan; Boudewyns, Deborah K. Ultan; Hanson, Cody; Hessel, Heather; Friedman-Shedlov, Lara; Traill, Stacie
    In October 2008, a small group at the University of Minnesota Libraries set out to explore the concept of discoverability of the Libraries’ resources. Commissioned by the Web Services Steering Committee, the group identified trends in user behavior and analyzed data available from library systems and used the results to develop a set of principles. These principles are helping to guide the Libraries’ strategic decisions as they relate to discovery. This case study describes how the group performed its analysis, identifies questions and issues uncovered in the process, and provides examples of how the guiding principles have affected planning and analysis throughout the Libraries.
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    Taming the Tempest: An Initiative to Help Users Cope with the Information Flood
    (2011-03-28) Brooks, Kate; Fransen, Jan; Bach, Virginia; Haycock, Laurel; Kelly, Julia A.; Kempf, Jody; Lafferty, Meghan; Nault, Andre
    The Current Awareness & Personal Information Management (CAPIM) Collaborative at the University of Minnesota Libraries was organized in response to results from a user survey. Faculty and students alike indicated frustration with keeping current and organizing their personal information, and they indicated that they wanted our help. Along with the user survey, librarians also conducted a scan of the available electronic tools in the area of CAPIM. One of the results was a recommendation that as we helped users, we should consider these characteristics for any software tools: efficiency, simplicity, stability, and effectiveness. Other academic libraries have done work in this area, including guides that spell out the characteristics of different citation managers, or assistance with setting up alerts or RSS feeds. Building on this preliminary work, a number of other recommendations were made for the work of the Collaborative, including 1) educate the library staff about these topics and tools, 2) build a Web toolkit to support both staff and users, 3) more fully supporting the range of citation managers that our users employ, 4) identify experts among the library staff and cultivating more, 5) reach out to library users with information about how they could enhance or simplify their CAPIM tasks, and 6) map out how all of our local tools work together, and improve the connections when possible Our poster will highlight our work to support citation managers as well as develop staff education and a Web presence. As we developed materials, these four themes emerged: * Current Awareness and Social Tools * Citation Management Tools * File and Data Management Best Practices * Organization and Process Tips. The category of organization and process tips includes a wide range of tools and skills that fall into personal or group tasks. The personal area includes annotation software, note-taking software, syncing multiple computers and mobile devises, storing passwords, and customizing/personalizing your electronic workspace. Group tasks and tools cover citation sharing, collaborative writing, project management software, communication tools, and tagging. We feel that this is a new area where librarians can make a contribution to students and researchers in all disciplines. Our survey revealed that users believe we have the right skills and knowledge, and a quick scan of nearly any academic library should yield a number of staff with expertise.
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    Discoverability Phase 2 Final Report
    (2011-02-04) Hanson, Cody; Hessel, Heather; Boudewyns, Deborah K. Ultan; Fransen, Jan; Friedman-Shedlov, Lara; Hearn, Stephen; Theis-Mahon, Nicole; Morris, Darlene; Traill, Stacie; West, Amy
    The Discoverability Phase 2 group was charged in spring 2010 to generate a vision for the University Libraries’ discovery environment. In addition, the group was asked to build on the work of Phase 1 (see the Phase 1 report here: http://purl.umn.edu/48258), addressing some of the practical implications of decentralized discovery by recommending strategies for making local collections discoverable in external systems, and for integrating remotely-managed data into the local discovery environment.
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    MNCAT Plus and MNCAT Classic survey : results and analysis
    (2010-07-27) Primo Management Group; Chew, Chiat Naun; Fransen, Jan; Gangl, Susan; Hendrickson, Lois; Hessel, Heather; Mastel, Kristen; Nelsen, R. Arvid; Hendrick, Connie; Peterson, Jeff
    This document reports the results of a survey held by the University Libraries in 2009 on the use and perceived effectiveness of the Libraries’ catalog, MNCAT.
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    Discoverability Phase 1 Final Report
    (2009-03-13) Hanson, Cody; Hessel, Heather; Barneson, John; Boudewyns, Deborah K. Ultan; Fransen, Jan; Friedman-Shedlov, Lara; Hardy, Martha; Rose, Chris; Stelmasik, Barb; Traill, Stacie
    In October 2008, the Web Services Steering Committee at the University of Minnesota Libraries created the Discoverability exploratory subgroup, charged to recommend ways to make relevant resources more visible and easier to find, particularly within the user’s workflow. This report shares the findings of Phase 1, in which the primary activity was data‐gathering and analysis. Phase 2 of the group’s work will take the discovery principles identified here and recommend specific strategies for the future. The report consists of four main sections. The first section is a brief description of the process and methodology. The second is a discussion of five key trends related to discovery that were identified in the literature, including a description of how each trend is reflected in current use of local systems. The third section contains a set of suggested principles to guide future decisions related to discovery. Finally, we have collected and analyzed usage data from many of our local systems. These reports are collected in our fourth section and are summarized in “A Month of Library Discovery”. We have also included specific recommendations regarding future data‐gathering and analysis. Our appendices include a copy of the group’s charge, a review of discovery principles at peer institutions, and a set of web statistics reports for the University Libraries’ many websites.