This semester, the Weinberg Memorial Library
will conduct its second survey of user satisfaction
with library services and collections. The
Library relies on this feedback to assess
how well it is meeting the needs of users.
Responses to the survey are a rich source
of information for plotting direction for
the allocation of resources. Although as a
part of its mission Library services are open
to the public, faculty and students are the
primary audience for this survey. Completion
of the survey enters the respondent in a drawing
for prizes. Responses to the survey are confidential
and are analyzed only in terms of aggregates.
The first survey was conducted via the Web
from 28 August 1997 to 31 January 1998. Questions
on the survey assess frequency of use, services,
physical plant, equipment and collections.
In the first survey, 92% of those responding
felt that the Library was an important part
of their education. At that time, 53% accessed
the Library from a remote location. With the
addition of a proxy server, 105 databases
and 600 fulltext journals available over the
Internet, it will be interesting to see responses
to this question in the new survey. The majority
of those responding had had Library Instruction.
In the Commentary Section, there was a demand
for more classes, including instruction on
an individual basis. Individual Library Instruction
has always been available by calling the Reference
Desk, 941-4000, for an appointment. With the
institution of Freshman Seminar, we are finding
an increase in the number of students who
take advantage of this opportunity.
Disturbingly, a substantial number of those
responding indicated that they did not get
materials they wanted because either they
did not know how to find them or the materials
could not be located on the shelf. The Library
addressed this problem by creating the position
of Access Services Clerk and dedicating the
services of some work study students to stack
maintenance. Access Services also systematically
shelf-reads, i.e. checks the shelves to make
certain books are in the proper order.
Users were generally satisfied with services
and extremely satisfied with reference assistance.
However, the first survey indicated that some
users went to the Circulation Desk for reference
assistance and were not satisfied when staff
at that desk could not help with these types
of questions. To address these responses,
the Circulation Desk instituted better language
for directing inquires.
Many users complained about the sleep-inducing
level of Library lighting. The upgrade of
lighting will be completed over Intersession,
The single most frequent complaint concerned
the number and quality of computers. Since
the survey, the Library has upgraded equipment
and added twenty-five workstations and five
laptops. There were complaints about waiting
for printouts. Adding a printstation on the
second floor and encouraging users to be selective
in choosing what they print addressed these.
Users get 300 free copies a year instead of
an unlimited amount. Additional complaints
concerned waiting in line for a computer.
The Library addressed this by password protecting
computers so that only University students
could use machines. Users are encouraged to
log out after their use so that the machines
are only available to those currently enrolled.
With the addition of machines, lines have
decreased. There were some complaints about
waiting for a computer to do research while
people did e-mail. The Library hung signs
asking e-mail and chat to yield for research
and staff asked people to yield on occasions
when there were lines. At certain times of
the year, lines have not been eliminated.
The Library also responded to requests to
have workstations on other floors by placing
one on the fourth, one on the fifth and having
laptops wireless connectivity on the third.
We hope to expand this availability.
There was dissatisfaction with the quality
of photocopiers. The Library addressed these
comments by changing to ADA compliant machines
that have the ability to enlarge and reduce.
The previous machines did not have as sophisticated
a level of print tone and could only reduce.
Each of the major complaints in the first
survey has been addressed. The Library is
eager to assess users' satisfaction
of the current state of frequency of use,
services, physical plant, equipment and collections.
The survey will be available on the Library's
Homepage during Spring, 2001. We appreciate
your time and consideration in providing us
with your feedback.
Survey of User Satisfaction with Library Services
Assistant Director for Public Services