Testing the Viability of the READ Scale [Reference Effort Assessment Data]©: Qualitative Statistics for Academic Reference Services
journal contributionposted on 01.03.2010 by Lynn Berard, Bella Karr Gerlich
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data) is a six-point scale tool for recording qualitative statistics by placing an emphasis on recording effort, knowledge, skills, and teaching utilized by staff during a reference transaction. Institutional research grants enabled the authors to conduct a national study of the READ Scale at 14 diverse academic libraries in spring of 2007 and test its viability as a tool for recording reference statistics. The study data were collected from 179 individuals and 24 service points with over 22,000 transactions analyzed. There was a 52% return rate of an online survey of participants, with over 80% of respondents indicating they would recommend or adopt the Scale for recording reference transactions. The authors suggest that the READ Scale has the potential to transform how reference statistics are gathered, interpreted, and valued. This paper presents the findings of a nationwide study testing the Scale in spring 2007 and suggests practical approaches for using READ Scale data.