Q. What are the dates for the Time Study?
The first week of the Time Study is February 23 - 29, 2004.
The next scheduled week is in May, 2004.
Q. Where can I find the Data Recording sheet?
A. On the internal web page at: http://www.nd.edu/%7Elibstaff/time_study/
3. Q. May I create my Data Recording sheet now?
A. You may “play” with the system until
Friday 5:00 p.m. February 13. Anything that you enter by
that date will be lost when the system is reloaded. On Monday
February 16, we will send out an announcement saying that
you can begin creating your permanent Data Recording list.
4. Q. How do I know which tasks to use?
A. Talk with your supervisor who will help you
select tasks from the Time Centers List.
5. Q. Where are the directions for setting up my task list
and entering my time?
A. Select the Training section from the Time Study
web page (listed above).
6. Q. Who is recording their time?
A. All employees are asked to record their time.
For faculty and staff, the Data Recording Forms are tied
to individual net ids (also known as afs ids) and passwords.
Student data will be entered by the supervisor or a designee–who
will compile the data for all students and enter it on a
common Data Recording Form.
7. Q. How do I count my time?
A. At the end of the day, estimate the total amount
of time spent in each task center. Record the time in quarter
hour segments–one hour =1.0, a half hour = .5, a quarter
hour or 15 minutes = .25.
8. Q. Do I count break time?
A. No, just spread that time over other tasks.
9. Q. Can the total number of hours work exceed 8 hours
A. Yes. It should not, however, exceed your official
hours per week. (Of course, faculty and exempt staff are
not bound by an official weekly schedule).
10. Q. What if I am unable to record on Sunday the student
hours worked on Sunday night?
A. Contact Bill Sill on Monday.
11. Q. What if I am sick on Wednesday and cannot record
any time for that day?
A. Record your sick hours under LV00 (Leave) on
Thursday as well as recording the Thursday time worked.
This will add up to more than 8 hours for Thursday, but
the system only cares about the weekly total.
12. Q. What if I forgot to add a task on my Data Recording
Form, but find that I am doing this task late in the week?
A. One can always add a new task to their list
by highlighting the task and pressing the Add key.
13. Q. What do I do with the rest of my questions?
Please ask your supervisor/Department Head first. If he
or she does not have the answer, they should contact a committee
member -Jo Bessler 1 6680, Laura Bayard 1-8570 or Sue Dietl
Q. Why are we doing this study when we are so short of staff?
We agreed to this study before we realized just how pressed
our time would be. We would like to keep our commitment
to cooperate. More importantly, we believe that the study
can help managers most at this very point in time. We simply
cannot do all of the work that we once did and assume new,
needed work with our reduced number of staff. We, therefore
, need to examine how we are spending our time so that we
can shift attention to crucial priorities.
Q. Why are we doing this study NOW–at the beginning
of the Fall semester?
In response to concerns about the Fall semester work-load
and the demands of the time study, we have delayed the study
Q. What will be done with the data garnered from the survey?
Associate Directors, department heads, and supervisors will
be able to use the data to make decisions to enhance service
and work effectiveness, i.e., which tasks currently being
done are critical, which can be deferred, or which can be
eliminated. Additionally, other libraries have used the
data to raise Human Resources’s understanding of the
demands on library staff and as possible proof of the need
for position reclassification.
Q. Will the results of the time study be used to change
or eliminate employee positions?
In past uses of the technical services version of the study,
results have enabled libraries to shift time from tasks
that could be deferred to those that were more critical.
To accomplish this, some positions were restructured –
but not one person lost his or her job. No one will be laid
off as a direct or indirect result of this study!
5. Q. Will the results of the time study be used
to negatively impact library service currently being offered
to patrons, i.e., further cuts in hours, reduced staffing,
A. The budget shortages have effected service. The reduction
of library services is not the intent of this time study.
Rather, it is to examine how employee time is used to make
decisions that will result in better, more effective services
for patrons during tough budget times.
7. Q. Will any services be cut due to time study
evidence of low desk activity statistics?
The time study is intended to reflect time spend on an activity
(answering questions, discharging books, working on collection
development, etc.). Desk duty itself is not an activity
and will not be measured by this study.
8. Q. Will the results of the study have an impact
on my performance review?
A. No employee will lose his or her job because of the study.
The library is committed to a policy of “no lay offs”.
Neither the study’s purpose nor its design is to mark
an individual’s quantity or quality of work. Jennifer
Younger has stated that this study is meant to help managers
see how overall employee time is used and that the study
will not be used to determine individual efficiency.
9. Q. When will I learn the details about this study.?
Will we collect information at the micro or macro level?
What will the forms look like? What are we counting?
The Associate Directors will work closely with Department
Heads to determine which information is best collected at
what level. The Working Group will consult with managers,
Vanderbilt, and Dilys Morris to design training materials
and forms to facilitate the collection process. The Working
Group will also provide consultation and training as needed.
Q. How much time is this study going to take?
Based on Vanderbilt’s experience, we believe that
it will take less than 15 minutes a day for an individual
to note how much time he or she spent on tasks in the various
Managers are also being asked to spend some additional time
defining the type and level of information that could be
useful to them in examining their use of employee time.
11. Q. Are statistics necessary to collect for this
Yes, if we want to secure cost per item. In many cases,
however, we may be content with macro cost information.
If a unit currently does not collect statistics, the appropriate
associate director will discuss what is and is not feasible
to collect with the department head.
Q. What if the activities associated with particular time
centers are incomplete, especially outside the technical
The Working Group will work with departments or units to
identify activities that are relevant to the work produced
in those areas. In doing so, if time centers currently do
not include relevant activities, LEC and the Working Group
have the ability to propose new activities to be listed
within time centers. The proposals have to be agreed to
by other participating libraries.
13. Q. Will there be an option to change time center
LEC and the Working Group have the option to propose new
or to change existing activities to be listed within time
centers. The proposals have to be agreed to by other participating
14. Q. What can be done if there is no time center
that matches a unit?
The time centers describe activities and products rather
than organizational units.
15 Q. Will the data that is gathered in the time
study be valid data?
The mechanism to be used in our time study has been tested
in the technical services areas for seven years and is known
to be reliable in that area. In a library-wide study, where
some of the data gathering mechanism and the definitions
are new, the data will become more reliable over time, through
use, and after analysis. These data from the initial study
will not be used without further investigation.
16. Q. How can we trust a study based on four randomly
selected weeks? What about project work and demands that
A. This is a study. Earlier versions of this study looked
at work in technical services. A statistician verified the
validity of a four week sample for that study. For this
study, we will ask managers to alert us to anomalies so
that professionals can determine the validity of a four
17. Q. How will confidentiality be protected?
There are several steps that will be taken to ensure confidentiality.
First, an alpha-numeric system will be devised that will
replace names in the database. Second, an interface is being
developed that would allow individuals to input their own
statistics into the database. Third, the people who can
view the full reports will be limited to the director and
associate directors. Department heads will be able to view
the reports of their own departments and units. Reports
at the macro level that are used for data comparison with
the other participating universities will be shared with
appropriate personnel as needed.
18. Q. Who will have the capability to generate
The associate directors will have the necessary permissions
to generate a report on command. Any department head will
be able to request that a report of his/ her own department
or unit be run. Selected staff in 221 will actually run
How should we record statistical analysis work? Should it
be listed under the Time Center that is most related to
the study or should all statistical analysis work be listed
under AS01? Where ever it is listed, could “statistical
analysis” be listed as a separate entry rather than
being lumped with administrative work, reports, policies,
procedures, and memos?
Statistical analysis work should be recorder in the Product
Center to which it is related. If the analysis work covers
more than one product or service, split the time between
the product service centers. If the analysis work covers
many products, services, place time in AS03. You can subdivide
any task, so you could take the administrative task(s) and
subdivide each 03.1 Statistical analysis work, 03.2 all
other administrative work. One caution is that no time can
be entered into the parent task once the task is subdivided.
Dilys would not separate out analysis work unless we have
a great concern about that activity.
20. What is our time table for reviewing proposed
changes in the time centers list?
We plan to consult with Dilys and Flo in the beginning of
December after Vanderbilt completes its first (and recently
delayed) round of data gathering and generates its first
What do you do if the task breakdown does not match Notre
If it is too narrow, do you simply revert to the more general
level task? For instance, if the tasks say shelve serials
and shelve monographs, but we do not distinguish between
the two – we would choose the broader category “shelve
materials”. If the task centers are not defined narrowly
enough, Notre Dame can simply add some finer task categories.
What if one unit’s work cannot be fairly estimated
by a four week study?
We can make notes documenting this problem. We will also
consult with Dilys to see if there is an option for a Department
to add some weeks to the mix.
23. Q. Is there a person at Vanderbilt that might
serve as the counterpart for our Head of Electronic Resources?
Not really. These responsibilities are distributed. Once
we document the list of concerns, Flo will examine it to
identify a contact or a set of responses.
Q. Has Vanderbilt experienced any problem with falsified
reporting? If so, how have they dealt with it?
Two situations have occurred thus far. 1) An unusually high
number of staff have taken vacation during the test weeks.
2) One Department decided to spend its time on the tasks
that were obviously counted in the study in order to show
a high production figure and to ease their reporting. Flo
spoke with that area about the importance of valid data
since Vanderbilt will look at the data to make broad types
Can we keep statistics at the macro level during the first
week and at the micro level during the second week?
Yes, but we will only be able to compile that data for the
whole study at the macro level. One week of data will not
se statistically valid. We could, however, view that data.
Why are we not collecting data on media by format?
The Time Centers are not meant to reflect any specific Departments
or Units. Time spent circulating audio/video materials can
be identified by looking at time spent circulating materials
and the organization code for the Audio Center staff.