University releases results of library survey
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
After countless years of constructive, the finished Buley Library finally opened its doors to students.
Prior to it’s opening, Southern administered an educational library survey to the student body to get a feel for the library needs of the students.
Dr. Kenneth Walters is a member of the University Library Committee. Walters said, “During spring 2014, the University Library Committee, in consultation with the Interim Provost Kennedy, determined to conduct a survey of students at Southern Connecticut State University concerning library services and facilities.”
“The main purpose,” said Walters, “was to educate an appreciable portion of the student body about many of the planned features of the soon to be newly renovated Buley Library.”.
The goal of the survey was to reach as many individual students as possible. According to Walters, nearly 1,000 students participated in the survey.
“The survey was administered to as many students as possible, across campus, during fall 2014,” said Walters. “Surveys were administered across seven different academic departments, in classes often attended by students from across the university. Surveys were also administered within three general locations and organizations, including the existing Buley Library, Connecticut Hall, and the Student Government Association.”
All students were encouraged to participate in the survey, including both undergraduate and graduate students, as both demographics would be using the facilities of the new library. Of the survey participants, 755 students were undergraduates and 203 students were graduate students, according to Walters.
The survey asked students to rate the necessity of certain features of the new library.
“In addition to demographic items, students rated the importance of 14 planned features and services of the new Buley Library, using a four-point scale,” said Walters. “Students also responded to one open-ended item, asking ‘What other library services might be useful to you as a student?’”
The survey was strictly for the education of the University Library Committee and to let students in on what was to come with the new library.
“We did not anticipate any specific findings, as we had no pre-existing agenda going into the project,” said Walters. “Again, the purpose was primarily to educate as many students as possible about planned library features, so as to increase usage of the new library facility.”
According to the survey’s results, students ranked the following items as the most important features: reliable wireless internet, computer printers, computer lab with 24-hour access and more individual study spaces.
Just under those items, the following items were ranked moderately important library features: Café services, group study rooms, campus security, PC computers and Mac computers.
Walters said, “At the time of the survey, many students were not using the library facility with great frequency. That is, 37 percent of the sample reported that they did not spend any days in the library facility during the average week, while another 36 percent reported spending only 1-2 days weekly in the building.”
Walters anticipates that this survey will allow the committee to properly assess the needs of the student body.
“As students become more aware of what the new library facility has to offer,” said Walters, “we are hopeful the library will become a center of activity at the university.”
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas