Tuesday, April 08, 2014

That's What They Said: One-Minute Survey Results

Here is a short summary of results from the the Library's One-Minute Survey.  The survey was available on the web and in print from February 4 through March 10, 2014.  It simply asked respondents to self-identify by their connection to the University, and to offer one way that they would improve the library.  83 individuals responded to the survey.  38 (46%) were students, 27 (33%) were faculty members, 11 (13%) were staff members, 4 (5%) were community borrowers, and the final 3 (4%) identified themselves as "Miami Alumni" in the "other" blank.

Respondents offered many thoughtful comments and suggestions on library services and the library building itself .  The most popular categories for comments were the following, including samples from each:
  • Thanking the library staff (16, or 19% of respondents)
  • "I would not change a thing; this library is very efficient and full of resources." (Student)
  •  "Fill it with people: students, faculty, community. You are already doing a great job at getting this to happen." (Faculty)
  • More study rooms (15, or 18% of respondents)
  • "Private and silent reading rooms where power outlets are provided for students to connect their computers." (Student)
  • "More quiet study rooms or table space to look at the books you select before checking them out." (Staff)
  • "Add more classrooms and study rooms." (Faculty)
  • Technology additions (13, or 16% of respondents)
  • "Capability to quickly create student online access to media content in various formats (e.g., VHS, DVD, CD, Audio Cassette, 35MM, etc) that would be easily accessible from off campus computers with either Windows or Mac operating systems." (Faculty)
  • "A Go-Pro video camera." (Student) 
  • "One suggestion is to have hot spots for check out for faculty and staff traveling etc." (Staff/Faculty) 
  • Library building issues (9, or 11% of respondents)
  • "If I could make one improvement, it would honestly be the front doors. They are old, hard to push, and loud." (Student)
  •  "More modern architecture and furniture.  Update as much as possible." (Student)
  • "Bigger elevator." (Community borrower) 
  • Changes to to improve the library's environment (9, or 11% of respondents)
  • "The building would be as calm as possible with little clutter and noise. There would be a sense of privacy and comfort within the walls." (Student)
  •  "Fishtanks, terrariums, etc. . . . They could provide interesting "distractions" or "attractions" to students, faculty, etc.  They could also be opportunities for academic engagement." (Faculty)
  •  "Sometimes other students are not quiet and it's distracting." (Student)
  • Changes to library furniture (9, or 11% of respondents)
  • "More secluded areas to study that have comfortable couches and comfortable chairs (the blue ones)." (Student)
  •  "Modernize the bookshelves so it does not look so dated." (Student)
  •  "Large and solid desks have been replaced by cheaper units with wheels." (Student)
As you can see, respondents had many interesting suggestions for improving the library, and we haven't even mentioned the "covered walkway between buildings" or the "free coffee and pizza."  While those are unlikely additions, we are considering other suggestions, such as checking out magazines, creating "a doodle wall to simulate creativity," and adding locally made art work, in addition to the requests in the most common categories above.

We were heartened to see that we've already met some of the requests, but realize that we need to market these services better: "a small section of children's books" is already available in our Juvenile section, and we just added a number of award-winning 2013 books to that collection, and the above suggestion to give students online access to media content is already in place in our Video on Demand service (though it can be improved).  We also encourage those who wished us to add more books or DVDs to the collection to just let us know the titles you would like, and we'll add them.

One other item bears mentioning here:  five respondents (6%) asked that the library add weekend hours.  Based on our experience in offering those hours for many years with declining visits, and the handful of requests we've received about it during this academic year, we are unlikely to add weekend hours without a clearer mandate.  Instead, our energies will go toward making other improvements and additions to our service.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the survey!

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