Bank Street Library Blog

Graduate Student Library Survey 2018

We Asked And You Answered

The Graduate Student Library Survey on the bulletin board opposite the reference desk is going to be up for a little while longer. When you have  a spare minute please stop by and add your voice by annotating our findings. Help yourself to some post-its and pen.

Graduate Student Library Survey 2018

Executive Summary

Survey Distribution and Design

The library survey was distributed through Email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Library sent 2 email blasts with a high rate of responses just after each one. We had a total of 52 responses. The survey of the Graduate Students ran from November 1 through December 7, 2018. The 17 question survey covered:

  • Demographic information
  • Overall satisfaction with collections, hours, space, technology, services
  • Top priorities for improvement over the next two years
  • Awareness of existing resources
  • Electronic versus print resources
  • Research or other activities
  • Comments and suggestions

Question 1: Demographic Information

Out of 52 respondents 90% are matriculated students. 6% are non-matriculated and 4% are distance education students.

Question 2: Top priorities for the next two years

 76% of responses want us to invest in providing more online journal and electronic book titles. 61% ask for improved areas in the library for group work and quiet study. The majority of comments include expanding hours and amenities such as renting phone chargers and providing more free paper for printing. Only 20% feel the need for more instruction on using library resources.

Question 3: General satisfaction

The positive satisfaction ratings were for “Very Satisfied,” “Satisfied,” and “OK.” Looking at Very Satisfied and Satisfied together, overall satisfaction registers at 81%; satisfaction with library services, 83%; library collections, 77%; and hours 68%. Including the “OK” ratings brings percent satisfied into the mid to high 90s, except for library hours. The only significant dissatisfaction ratings are on the library’s hours question, 18% dissatisfied.

Question 4: Rate the level of satisfaction with library staff

 We asked graduate students to rate us on courtesy, helpfulness, and availability. Courtesy and helpfulness rate similarly, 88% and 87% respectively. Satisfaction with our availability is at 80%.

Question 5: How easy does the library make it to do the following activities

The 7 activities on the list were purposefully focused to match the types of activities graduate students would need to do for their course work. For instance, we listed “Access documents on eReserves” and “Find books in the library” as activities. Generally, our students rate these activities positively, as Very Easy, Easy, or OK. However, 24% find that accessing resources from home is either Difficult or Very Difficult. We have recently changed how patrons access resources from off campus with the help of the IT department. We now ask that patrons access resources using their email address and password as authentication. We think this will help with the challenge. We have already seen a downtick in email requests for help.

Question 6: Satisfaction with library offerings

Respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with 5 services: Library instruction (workshops/orientations), space to study, wireless access, circulation services, and email notifications for checkouts, check-ins, and overdue materials.  The highest level of satisfaction is with our email notifications and wireless access. The highest level of dissatisfaction is with space to study (6%)

Question 7: When doing academic work, do you prefer a print book or an electronic book?

Out of 47 responses, 77% say they prefer print, and 23% say they prefer electronic. The comments are typical for either type. Some people find it hard to read on a screen, or prefer to take notes on the print copies. Others who prefer electronic like remote access, access from home, syncing to a laptop, taking notes on the iPad.

Question 8: When given an assignment, where do you begin your research?

We gave 5 choices here – Google, the library’s homepage search box, the library’s research guides, speaking to a librarian, and other. 31 students say they start with Google, and 21 say they use the library search box. We are pleased that 10 people said they use the research guides we provide. As for other, some people mentioned that they start with resources from the instructor.

Question 9: Rate the potential value of the following resources to help you complete your coursework, IMP, or other tasks or goals you set for yourself

Not surprisingly, the top 3 resources are the article databases, our book collection, and the APA resources we provide on the website. A couple of comments suggest that Inter Library Loan takes too long.

Question 10: Satisfaction with technology available in the library

Most people are satisfied with our computer workstations and the online catalog. Their dissatisfaction comes with the lack of charging places and the fact that we need to provide more chargers for checkout.

Question 11: What types of chargers should the library offer for checkout

We received 11 comments about this – most say they didn’t know we had chargers available for checkout.

Question 12: How often do you visit the library for the following purposes

We listed activities such as using the computers, working individually, working in a group, borrowing materials, etc. 84% of respondents often or sometimes come to the library to work individually, and 31% say they come to work in groups. That tells us a lot about we should be thinking about space, which is mostly configured for working at a computer workstation or in groups. Borrowing books and using the computers are also prominent reasons students visit our space. Comments suggest that many of our students did not know we have a “wellness” room.

Question 13: Best ways to communicate with you about library resources, news, events

Most students (86%) wish to be alerted through email.

Question 14: Do you follow the library on these networks

Only 7 people chose to answer whether they follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Facebook and Instagram tied for 1st.

Question 15: Have you attended any of these library events

We had 6 people respond to this one. BookFest got top billing.

Question 16: “I would use the library more if…”

This was an open-ended question that is very useful for seeing exactly what is on our patron’s minds. Students wish the library were open more hours, and to have Sunday hours. The other highly mentioned topic is that our space is insufficient for their needs. They would like space for their laptops, space to stretch out, comfortable space, quiet space, space to eat and drink. Allowing coffee and food into the library is also on the list for many people.

Question 17: What would you like to see in library resources that we don’t currently offer

 Comments include adding more places to charge phones, museum education resources, pleasure reading materials and electronic reference sources such as Credo Reference, the OED, and Gale.