Secret shopping is a form of unobtrusive evaluation that can be accomplished with minimal effort, but still produce rich results. With as few as eleven shoppers, the author was able to identify trends in user satisfaction with services provided across two entry-level desks at Illinois Wesleyan University’s The Ames Library. The focus of this secret shopping program was on user experiences, rather than whether correct answers were given by student employees working at the desks. Overall, users were satisfied or very satisfied with their experiences, though user feedback identified one desk as providing consistently better service.


Library and Information Science