By: Jennifer Wallace

Katie Hopkins and Tori Merray run the Athens Project from a library classroom. They are one of four teams assigned to the project.

Surveys being conducted by library information technician students and will help them develop library marketing skills. The surveys, which students and teachers are encouraged to complete, are online.

The surveys were finished handed out this past February and will be run until the end of March.

“What we want to find out through the surveys is the types of access points and the goal through this is to develop a marketing package to get students to want to use the library,” said Tim Coogan, a team lead on one of the chat reference service projects.

“Marketing is really important in the library, as it is in any world, and if people working in a library don’t market for it, then they get cut funding,” said Helena Merriam, a professor for this program.

The students, in their first year of a two year diploma program, were split into eight teams, and were given two different projects. They included the Athens project, which is the new Algonquin repository. Four teams are assigned to each one.

“It’s challenging using the Algonquin directory online because some of the staff don’t have job titles. We have to go through the school directory, and copy and paste each email, there’s no master copy,” said Athens project team leader Katie Hopkins.

Students use Goodmorning Algonquin as a way of sending invitations to Perth and Pembroke campuses too.

“It’s my responsibility to oversee everything, so I help out with secondary research and editing some of the questions,” Coogan said.

Fluid Surveys is one of the programs they use online.

According to the reports from Fluid Surveys for Coogan’s team, from the week of Feb. 19 to 25, there were an average of 3.9 responses a day, 71 responses that week and total response rate of 16 per cent that week.

“Were trying to get different departments from the college to take the survey so we have a good mix,” said Esenia Jubea, a researcher on Coogans team.

Other members on Coogan’s team include Sarah Dagg, and Louise Ouellet.

Some of the questions on the surveys are: What is the easiest way to learn about library services? Do you find the library contact information easy to find? Would you use a live chat service? How would you like access to library assistance?

There are around 13 questions in each survey and the answers are totalled from all campuses. One recent example from one of the surveys was that more than 60 per cent of people are asking for research help.

The goal of these surveys, is to prepare students to write a marketing plans for real clients once they enter their professions.

Feedback indicated that campuses need: more textbooks, better chairs, more printers, providing information sessions, staff availability, enough computers, quiet environment and research help.

Many students at Algonquin will have already received surveys sent to their Algonquin email.