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Student User Study: Student IRB Notification Letter

IRB Letter

Dear Student:

The MacPhaidin Library collects data about its resources and services in order to assess our work and improve our support for Stonehill College students, faculty, and staff. This year, we are beginning a new project in order to better understand how you, as students, work with the library and our librarians. As part of this project, you will be asked to swipe your HillCard after certain interactions. Please read the information below for the details on this project.

What are we collecting?
Data on students’ visits to the reference desk and participation in research consultations and library instruction.

How are we collecting data?
AFTER you have asked your question at the reference desk and received assistance from a librarian, or at the end of an instruction session or research consultation, you will be asked to swipe your HillCard. This card swipe allows us to record:

  • Your student ID number
  • The date and time of your interaction with the library
  • The type of interaction (reference question, instruction session, research appointment)

What will you do with my data?
We will use this data to assess our reference and instruction program. For instance, we might look to see if students who attended a specific instruction session were more likely to visit the reference desk for help. We may also contact students to participate in conversations or surveys focused on what you, as students, would like to see librarians doing to support your learning.

Who will have access to my data?
Only the librarians conducting our assessments and focus groups/surveys will have access to your data. For instance, your individual data will not be shared with your instructors; faculty may receive general information on the percentage of their students who asked reference questions, but they will not receive any data related to a particular student.

What are the risks of participating?
We do not anticipate any risks from participating in this project. We will not be collecting any sensitive information and we will not be recording what you ask us when you visit the desk, nor will we be tracking any data about the specific library resources (books, databases, etc.) you use.

Do I have to participate to get help at the library?
Absolutely not. We are here to help you, whether or not you choose to swipe your card. We will only ask you to swipe your card after you’ve received the assistance you need; you are always free to choose not to do so, even if you’ve received help and swiped your card in the past.

Who should I contact if I have questions?
Trish McPherson,, 508-565-1844

Thank you, we look forward to working with you this year!
The MacPhaidin Library Research, Teaching, and Learning Team
                Trish McPherson
                Joe Middleton
                Heather Perry
                Jane Swiszcz

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