Reference departments track patron interactions to illustrate the type and number of services provided as well as to tailor librarians’ time and expertise to the interest and needs of their patrons. Until 2010, the Reference, Education, and Community Engagement Department at the Calder Memorial Library tracked statistics using a complicated system of paper tic sheets and two Excel™ spreadsheets. After considering different electronic systems, the department decided to employ an electronic form created with SurveyMonkey™ to track patron interactions. After the system had been in place for three months, the authors administered a Satisfaction and Use survey to collect faculty and staff feedback on the new system. Seven months later the authors undertook usability testing to collect further evaluative data on the electronic form. The patron interaction form continues to be used to collect statistics, provide data for annual reviews, and recognize the contributions of all faculty and staff at the library.
Vardell E, Loper K, Vaidhyanathan V. Capturing every patron interaction: the move from paper statistics to an electronic system to track the whole library. Med Ref Serv Q. 2012 Apr;31(2):159-70. PubMed PMID: 22559179.