2006 LibQual+TM Survey Results
Actions Taken in Response
Access - Streamlining and Interconnecting
Some problems users encounter with accessing Library resources are due to the lack of clarity in the layout of the pages. Prof. Bonnie Oldham conducted focus groups and cognitive walk throughs to pinpoint problems with existing pages. Library faculty and the Library Systems department developed a new layout based on LibQual+™ and focus group feedback. The Library expects to launch the new page in Spring 2007. The frequent use of search engine non-library sources indicate the need for library pages and database searching that are easy to navigate, that require no or little additional input beyond the search statement to access information and that provide information in a standard format. Conversely, the Library’s information literacy program plays in important role in distinguishing among levels of scholarship in Internet based resources and instructing users on idiosyncrasies among databases.
To paraphrase President Clinton, we feel your pain and have taken several steps to alleviate it.
- The Library has purchased software from Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III) that will synchronize the Library’s system with Banner. When a student changes his/her PIN, it will change in the III systems as well—no more separate Library PIN. The Library’s online public catalog is an III product.
- Software from Innovative will enable a "single-sign-on." When a remote user logs into My.Scranton, for example, it will not be necessary to log in a second time for the Library.
- The Library is working with Innovative as a development partner to improve WebBridge, software that links resources based on the content of one record to information in other databases with that content.
- The Library is also partnering with Innovative to develop Research Pro, a new product that replaces MetaFind. Research Pro allows the user to simultaneously search across several resources. As a part of this development process, we need user feedback to help define the way these products will function. Please email <email@example.com> with your comments, problems and opinions as you use these resources.
Responses among all libraries that administered LibQual+™ indicate that no Library has all the books, journals and fulltext materials users desire. Norms for LibQual+™ will be added to this discussion of LibQual+™ when they are available. The amount that any library can purchase is a factor of budget. Even the largest libraries are unable to satisfy, in house, every user’s need. To address this information need, we need to recognize that Library collections have three avenues to access information: items that are physically present, resources available electronically, and resources shared among libraries through reciprocal borrowing and interlibrary loan. The Weinberg Library collection book collection has been steadily increasing. We have 125 databases, most with fulltext content. Conversion of print journals to electronic format brings our fulltext journal holding to approximately 16,000 titles. Reciprocal borrowing though the Northeastern Pennsylvania Library Network enables students and faculty to borrow directly from area colleges and universities. Faculty have direct borrowing privileges in Jesuit colleges and universities through Passport. PALCI E-Z Borrow puts the collections of 68 academic libraries at our users’ fingertips with delivery of requested books taking only 4 days.
For items that users cannot borrow directly, there is interlibrary loan service. There is no charge to faculty for interlibrary loan articles or books. There is no charge to students for books and a $1.50 charge for articles for students, regardless of the amount the Library spends to acquire the article. In Fall, 2005, the Library began delivering interlibrary loan documents to users’ desktops. The University of Scranton is a net lender; others borrow more heavily from us than we do from other libraries. In 2005/2006 we loaned 6,860 items and borrowed 5,529.
In some cases where specific subject collections were mentioned, the Library actually has strong holdings indicating that techniques for searching are not clear to users. This is being addressed in a redesign of the Library’s webpages and enhanced searching across disciplines.
The Library’s collection development policy excludes acquisition of required texts. Each department selects the books in its discipline. Most use these funds to supplement rather than to supplant required reading. Texts are revised so that a textbook collection would be outdated almost annually. The Library does not have space for a reserve room for required texts. Therefore, only one person would have the book if the Library were to purchase it. Since students often write in texts, this collection would sustain damage if it were purchased. Acquiring a single copy of required texts would not satisfy multiple users, would preclude developing a collection in support of research and would necessitate annual weeding of outdated materials from the collection.
The Java City coffee bar opened in 2001 and began serving fruit, yogurt, salads, fruit/yogurt smoothies, and cheese in 2003. Its hours of operation are posted. There is a vending machine for water and juice. The Library has a liberal food and drink policy. There are no restrictions on bringing food into the building or on eating it in any location in the building. Food services operate independently of the Library operation but have been very receptive to providing students with the type of food and services they want.
Comments on group study space often also alluded to noise reduction. In summer 2006, the Library remodeled the first, second and third floors to both accommodate a change in the location of the loading dock necessitated by the construction of a new campus center and in response to LibQual+™ comments. Technical services were combined and moved to the first floor. The Media Resources Center was combined with the EDLAB Collection to create a Media & EDLAB Resource Center on the 3rd floor. The former location of the Serials Office was converted to two group study rooms, the first time group study rooms have existed in the second floor Reference area. In 2004, a high tech collaborative learning group study space was created in a portion of the Systems office. There has been a total net gain of three group study rooms in the building. As the Library plans for an expansion, space for collaborative learning is at the forefront.
In response to a Student Senate resolution, the Library undertook a pilot project to be open for 24 hours during finals in May 2006. To make staffing the Library worthwhile, the number of persons in the building needed to exceed 50, the number who could use the 24 hour Pro Deo Room. For the three days of the project, the census was above 50 until 3:00 a.m. Public Safety did not make rounds of the building. For safety and security, the library must have a minimum of two staff members present any time the building is open. Entry data gathered by swiping RoyalCards to gain entrance indicate that more people arrived between 7 and 8 am. After meeting with the Student Senate in September 2006, the Library proposes closing at 2:00 am and opening at 7:00 am during finals. In addition, because of the interest in an earlier opening for finals preparation, the Library proposes also opening at 7:00 during Dead Week, the week preceding finals.
Comments in this category rightly identified some physical realities: no library can own the resources its users might want; some databases are poorly constructed and are difficult to use; our remote login process needs to be streamlined. Although the Library does have web pages and a drop down box for locating information by discipline, these were not sufficiently prominent for users to find without instruction. The redesign of the Library’s web pages will make this more intuitive.
Comments indicate that students would like upper floors to be zoned as quiet. The Library instituted a cell phone policy in 2005 that requests that users show consideration for other by putting their ringers on silent mode and taking calls in stairwells. Most students have complied with this policy. Interestingly, comments indicate that respondents would like more group study space not for themselves but for those working in groups so that open tables are left for quiet study. Users would like library staff to enforce quiet. One comment indicated that although Reference librarians do have to talk to users, they too should be quieter. Many of the materials used by School of Management students are high demand items that are kept at the Reference desk. Comments about not being able to borrow them and therefore needing more quiet are justified. The Library’s main staircase is a conduit for noise. Signs asking users to move conversations from the base of the stairs would be helpful. Signs will also be posted asking those in the library to respect the quiet study needs of others.
Computers are on a cycle of replacement so the ones mentioned in the comment have been replaced. Problems with the printers are a three fold: 1) Jams in the printer have been addressed by replacing the offending machines. 2) Sometimes the process that read RoyalCards to release print jobs stalls. Library staff have been given access to restart this process. 3) The UniPrint workstation is slow. This machine is being replaced in 2006.
Each student has $14.00 in free printing. When the UniPrint printout manager was installed, the price for photocopying was reduced form 10 to 7 cents per page. The cost savings on photocopying offsets any costs students incur for printing when they exceed the number of free copies. At the end of the semester, the Library will get a report on how many students do/do not use all their free prints. Students may email materials to themselves or save materials to floppy or USB drives.
Library staff were highly complimented by the many positive comments and the high rating they received.
Specific suggestions were reviewed with appropriate staff. The Library is also developing signage to remind users to be considerate of others, specifically regarding noise.
Thank you and Incentive Prize Winners
The Library appreciates the time students and faculty took to respond to the survey. Thanks to your ratings, comments and suggestions, the Library has a clear focus for actions to improve service. As an incentive for participation, the Library offered prizes. Responses to LibQual+™ were confidential. The Library does not know who responded to the survey. LibQual+™ had email addresses for sending the survey. The winners were pulled from these email addresses.
The first prize, an IPod, went to Jennifer Wilcox, an undergraduate student
Second prize, a USB drive, went to Ashley Baumbach, an undergraduate student
Third prize, a USB drive went to Kara Kernich, a graduate student.
Although LibQual+™ has concluded, your feedback is always welcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can continue assessing users’ needs to improve our services.