Horizontal Line Summary and Analysis of Public Comments: Report on the National Agricultural Library - 2001
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Mapping Comments to the Report Recommendations

Positive or supportive comments were mapped to the most relevant recommendation of the Report. Alternative options, qualifications, concerns, new recommendations, or negative responses were not coded in the spreadsheet but were noted and addressed with the relevant recommendation where appropriate or noted elsewhere when they stand alone. The comments were classified by specific recommendation and by a generally descriptive job function. This analysis provides insight into the diverse needs and views of NAL's stakeholders and customers.
 
Twenty-eight specific recommendations were organized under four high-level categories in the Executive Summary of the Report. The first category "Innovations in Information Services" provides the vision for what the future scope and services of the National Agricultural Library might be. The second category relates to "Organizational Structure" and provides guidance as to the elements needed to implement the vision described in the first category of the recommendations. The third category, "Planning & Evaluation Processes" provides guidance for managing and maintaining this national resource. The last category "Leadership" defines a national role for NAL within a dynamic national agricultural information system.

Mapping Methodology

The following examples are used to provide a general understanding of how the public comments were scored by recommendation category and job function of the responder. This two-dimensional mapping allowed the analysis to consider how each major job function responded to the individual recommendations. A spreadsheet was set up with each of the 28 recommendations in the Executive Summary, tracking individual positive responses for 5 job function categories (researcher, librarian, educator, administrator/manager, and all other).
 
Each individual element of a responder's positive comments was interpreted and mapped to the most relevant recommendation. In most cases the comments related to more than one specific recommendation, therefore the total number of responses recorded greatly exceeds the total number of responders.
 
Statements that differed significantly with the Report's recommendation were not recorded in the spreadsheet. Instead, these statements were noted and are discussed in the results section within the context of the relevant recommendation category. These differences ranged from qualifications or cautions for specific recommendations, to the outright rejection of a recommendation. In addition to these variances some responders provided alternative solutions or in rare cases new recommendations. These variances are also discussed in the appropriate results section within the context of the relevant recommendation category.
 
The following examples demonstrate how common response patterns were mapped to the recommendations.
 
Common Mapping Examples:
A preamble paragraph from the Executive Summary was extensively copied by responders. This expression was coded as overall support for the Report recommendations, and specific support for recommendations: I a, I c, I e, I f, II a, III e, and IV c.
 
Many responders spoke of their needs for enhanced electronic access to information resources. These needs were coded as supporting Report recommendations: I a, III e, and IV c. In some cases II a was also coded to these responses.
 
Support for enhanced delivery of information resources was coded as supporting Report recommendations: I a, I f, and IV c.
 
Comments relating to the need to update AGRICOLA and/or its Web interface were coded as supporting recommendation I c. Likewise comments requesting services similar to the National Library of Medicine's PubMED were also coded as supportive of recommendation I c.
 
Comments describing the need or support for an increase in funding or support for NAL were coded as supportive of recommendation II c.
 
Comments relating to the position of the NAL director were diverse and reflected a similar lack of consensus to that seen in the Report. In order to represent more accurately responder viewpoints the recommendation was broken down into three pairs of opposing elements and scored accordingly.
 
  • SES appointment 4 year term performance-based renewal (Report)
  • SES appointment no term limitation
  • Political appointment
  • Not a political appointment
  • Library degree preferred (Report)
  • Library degree not-preferred
Comments that complimented the Report and supported in general panel recommendations were coded into a separate class indicating overall support for the Report and its global recommendations. If additional statements were offered they were parsed and coded in the spreadsheet (an indication that some recommendations may have higher priority than others in the responder's view).
 
Comments that reflected past and/or current use of NAL resources without specifically stating an endorsement for the corresponding Report recommendation were inferred to represent support and coded as supporting the relevant recommendation.
 
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Last Updated February 7, 2003