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I hate to say it, but candy.  Fill out the survey, get a Snickers.

 

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For our rollout of Nursing Reference Center, I had staff send me a pdf
copy of an article from a search via email. We had the contest
advertised on the INTRANET and flat screen in cafeteria. Each email was
copied into a list and entered into a drawing.  I had $20 gift cards for
grand prizes from the library budget ($100), some jump drives from the
vendor, mouse pads etc as other giveaways.  After 20 days I drew from
the list (I just printed & cut the names, folded and had a neighboring
office pull names from a basket.

The winners were announced on the INTRANET.  It did get about 70
participants and everyone that entered ended up with some prized.  

 

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The university libraries have been successful when they give away to
survey participants only I-pods sort of a raffle where two or three are
given away. They take a pictures and write an article and post it with
pictures on the library web site.
Perhaps I-pads and/or Kindle Fire would also recruit participants.



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In terms of motivators, I would suggest food, food and food.  Docs and
especially residents and fellows like free food, so I'd consider things
like a Starbucks  gift card or even a reasonable chance at one.  Or any
other free food items that you can think of....

 

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We try to survey only 1 time every two years. We keep surveys fairly
short. We provide online and print options, so they may fill it out
based on user preferences. We give the survey and/or a slip with the
online survey link personally to library users. We do organization-wide
notifications/links to the survey in the organization newsletter. We
have prize draws. I think the key (for us) is to make sure users know
why we are surveying and what will come out of the survey - i.e. "What's
in it for them?" - we put out information on changes we are making to
services or collections or whatever based on survey results. It lets
users know we actually used the information which means their voices are
being heard. 

 

HOWEVER - we are a small organization. There are only about 400 users (I
support a Public Health unit) so I can personalize (put a face) on the
process to a large degree. I don't know how well my methods would
translate to a larger organization. I can tell you I've had response
rates in the 70-80% range.

 

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the only two things that have proven even moderately successful in our

institution:

1) survey the exiting residents who need our signature to clear them
from payroll and to leave or

2) survey people one on one, being really nice to them, helps with
developing relationships too.

 

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I have not done this, but when nursing

wants a really heavy survey response,

once they return the survey they get 

a raffle ticket.

 

The prizes are usually gift baskets.

 

Seems to work quite well.

 

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Bribes help.  Maybe enter all participants in a drawing for a desirable
prize?  We got a good response to our most recent user survey by giving
away a Kindle as a grand prize.  

 

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The start [of the trial] was not encouraging - I emailed my boss (VP of
Medical Affairs) and the director of our medical staff office to tell
them about it and solicit their input, opinion, suggestions, whatever.
Neither one of them responded all, so I figured I'd be on my own.  So be
it.  I decided right off that I was NOT going to mass-market this, but
rather invite a "select group" of users who I know from experience are
tech-savvy and interested in searching the evidence base.  I hand-picked
a list (perhaps easier for me as a solo librarian in a community
hospital where I personally know them) of about 45 people, a mix of
physicians (the target for this product) and advanced practice nurses
and nursing educators (because they are totally into evidence-based
practice!).  I crafted an email describing the product and why I thought
they'd be good evaluators, and asked them to let me know if they wanted
to sign up, and encouraged them to invite anyone else they thought would
be interested.  I sent that out this morning, and have so far gotten 10
interested responses, including one invited by one of the original
invitees.  I'm thinking that's pretty great!  I think with a defined
group, it will be easier for me to "nag" them a little with emails and
ask / remind them about actually doing what they said they wanted to do.
So that's where I am right now with this, and we'll see how it goes!
I've had the same problems with "mass" trials, sending out general
e-blasts, putting up signs in the docs' lounge, etc. - just no response.
Maybe people like feeling "special..."  ;-)  We'll see.

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Participation is challenging, I know.  One of the best ideas is to
recruit advocates who can help you reach their colleagues.  This worked
when I recruited our Chief Academic Officer to solicit clinicians'

feedback on DynaMed vs UTD.  I had had a poor response rate up until I
got him involved and then responses were overflowing.  If you have a
library committee in place, they should also help you recruit
participants.  Approach the nursing director, hospital administrator,
etc - they won't say no and it does help.

 

Incentives work, too - like a free lunch (if you can get the vendor to
pay for it).

 

Good Luck - and keep trying!

 

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One key is to generate fun and excitement - for a "limited time" period.
If you can entice them to want to participate (take a photo or win a
prize), that is a gateway to a few minutes of their time for a short
hands-on demo.  Offer a short list of "topics" so they can choose what
is relevant to their needs.

 

Free food and a hands-on demo - outside of the library facility (go to
them)  -- may work in your situation as well.   

 

Would you be able to offer a free coffee (or chocolate) break - for a
week? (Or, every day with "day" in it! - make them stop, think & smile a
moment.)   Small gifts/prizes and a raffle attract participants to
outreach events. Maybe the vendor can help with those?  

 

We entice nursing students to participate in library instruction by
producing "themed events".  We raffled (to collect names and stats)
branded drink containers and lunch bags - got 59 participants in two
half-days (about 8%).  About 6 students followed up with 30-60 minute
training appointments; we hooked them into learning more!  The branded
items were extras from staff award events.  I asked NLM for 100 each of
free pens, carabiner-clip highlighters, sticky pads, and bookmarks (for
the PubMed/Medline demos) for a recent "Learn Research Tricks, Get
Treats" event; core  materials are attached.  For us, the ripple effect
continues; we had students tell us what they learned in last year's
event and tell their friends to see us for help.  So we "throw a small
rock in the events pond" 3 times per semester - to introduce
("Welcome"), teach tricks, and congratulate (Finals Study Break -
coffee/water/fruit/snacks).

 

Our only event costs are staff time, color printing, and candy/snacks.
Otherwise, invite yourself to staff/administrator meetings and become a
guest speaker to demo the product (and take gifts or treats to trade for
a survey response).

 

 

Melissa Spangenberg, MLIS

Electronic Resources Librarian

Hollis Health Sciences Library

Winthrop-University Hospital

259 First Street

Mineola, NY 11501

(516) 663-8197

 

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