ecently Falvey presented the results of its faculty survey in our blog space. In this post, we are pleased to report the results of the student satisfaction survey.
Since spring 2002, a survey has been administered every 2 to 3 years to a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students to assess their satisfaction with the Falvey Memorial Library services and resources. In February and March, 2013, we again administered the questionnaire to a sample comprised of 2,042 undergraduate students and 1,289 graduate students. The overall response rate for undergraduate students was 22%, ranging from 17% for VSB students to 29% for students majoring in the sciences. Fifteen percent (15%) of the graduate students responded to the survey with rates ranging from 9% for VSB students to 23% for nursing students.
Villanova’s Office of Planning and Institutional Research electronically administered the faculty and student surveys. An invitation email was sent through the survey software and reminders were sent to non-respondents to increase response rates. Chi-square goodness of fit tests were run to determine representativeness of the respondents.
The library display case in front of Falvey Holy Grounds currently holds some of the results of both the faculty and student surveys. Check it out next time you’re in the Library. It will be up for a limited time only, prior to our forthcoming One Book Villanova display.
Daily or weekly visits to Falvey were made by 68% of undergraduates, with about 30% visiting monthly or during the semester. Forty-five percent (45%) of undergraduates visited Falvey weekly. Graduate students responded that 35% visit Falvey daily or weekly with about 17% visiting Falvey monthly. Slightly more than three-quarters (76%) of undergraduate respondents feel that Falvey Memorial Library is important to their success. Eighty-four percent (84%) of graduate students agree or strongly agree that Falvey is important to their success. Overall, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students comprised the majority of nearly 80% of respondents who felt Falvey was important to their success.
Students are increasingly finding Falvey an attractive place to work alone or in groups, use public computing, and avail themselves of Learning Commons services, as this 2013/2011 survey comparison shows.
For what purposes did students visit the library?
Students, especially the graduate population, still visit Falvey to check out or borrow books and study or work alone. In 2013, 72% of undergraduates and 37% of graduate students sometimes visit to work in groups. Also in 2013, 35% of undergraduate respondents used the Writing Center, 15% of undergraduates respondents used the Math Learning Resource Center, and 7% or undergraduates used Learning Support Services. About 17% of respondents also attend lecture/events (see chart below).
Rating resources used – undergraduates
In 2013, 35% of undergraduates used subject databases daily, weekly and monthly. Twenty-four percent of undergraduate students used electronic journals/electronic periodicals and the online catalog at least daily, weekly and monthly. E-books were used daily, weekly or monthly 28% of the time, and print books were used by the same measure 18% of the time. Undergraduate responses also indicated 31% of students used research librarian services daily, weekly and monthly, and 23% responded as using the Information/Circulation Desk services daily, weekly and monthly. Undergraduates continue to rate many of those resources favorably, as well (see charts below).
Rating resources used – graduate students
In 2013, approximately 60% of graduate students used electronic journals/electronic periodicals and the online catalog at least daily, weekly and monthly, and 65% used subject databases just as frequently. E-books were used daily, weekly or monthly 22% of the time, and print books were used at the same rate 42% of the time. Nearly 40% of graduate students used the Information/Circulation Desk services daily, weekly and monthly. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of graduate students also made use of research librarian services daily, weekly and monthly. Graduate students also continue to rate many of the resources as adequate, approaching very adequate (see charts following).
Assessment of staff and services
Students even more strongly agree, as compared with our 2011 survey, that many of the library staff and services are very good. Librarians remain approachable, courteous, helpful and accessible. In many cases, graduate students agree more so. However, there is always room for some improvement. While satisfaction with tools such as scanners increased, students expressed only moderate satisfaction with the amount of space available for quiet, individual study (see charts following).
Falvey patrons responded that email remains the single best tool for conveying information about the Library although Facebook followers are on the rise.
Most students still prefer print books for both course-related and leisure reading.
We also appreciate all those students who took time to write responses. Graphs are nice but there’s gold in those comments. Students enjoy the new Learning Commons areas, wishing only that “… it all looked like the 2nd floor (Learning Services floor).” Many graduate students asked, “Graduate Student Quiet Study Area!” and “When is the graduate student lounge coming?!?!” We can now answer this request with a new study lounge for graduate students in the liberal arts and sciences, in Falvey Hall.
However, our work is still not done. Several pages of requests and comments accompanied our survey.
Hours of operation generated a numerous comments: “While the library has many benefits, the area where it needs the most improvement and the aspect that I feel strongly about is the hours of operation.” “24 HOUR LIBRARY, I think this is necessary, at least just keeping the whole first floor (including printers and computers and tables open for students to use 24 hours, rather than just the 24 hour lounge)…”
Many comments involved having more efficient study space. Some freshman and sophomores expressed this sentiment in such comments as, “Sometimes the library is so full of people even if the area is quiet, … the lack of power outlets sometimes prevents me from using my computer when I would like to … There need to be more tables. Better lighting on the 3rd and 4th floors … a little updating would be great! Otherwise, the people are helpful and it is always quiet! … Honestly, during any sort of “crunch” time (finals, midterms, etc.) the library is completely swamped …”
Several comments referred to printing challenges: “We should be able to print to the printers wirelessly from our laptops. … have the print center re-installed in the library instead of having one print center at Bartley … I used Falvey’s iPrint center all of the time and now that it is gone, I use Falvey half as much as I did before.”
Temperature still remains a challenge, commented on by both graduate students and undergraduates. It’s not just the engineering students who noticed that “… it is FREEZING on the upper floors … All the time, both during winter and during summer, library is cold and they set the interior temperature to colder than normal room temperature …”
So, as we enter the heart of a new decade, we thank all of you for caring and sharing. We hope that future efforts will enable Falvey to continue our quest to meet and compete with the best of libraries. Have a great semester and new year!
Merrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science. Other members of the Assessment team include Dennis Lambert, Kathleen O’Connor, Susan Ottignon and Barbara Quintiliano.
Window display design and photograph by Joanne Quinn, team leader for Communication & Service Promotion.