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Falvey Student Satisfaction Survey: results are in!

MICK-Recently 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.


Academic success
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.


Learning Commons
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).


Receiving information
Falvey patrons responded that email remains the single best tool for conveying information about the Library although Facebook followers are on the rise.




E-book preferences
Most students still prefer print books for both course-related and leisure reading.

Comments noted
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!

SteinMerrill 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.


Don’t Let This Be You! Part Five: Citation help



Flummoxed by citations? Grammar? Style? Our citation guide has got you covered. Check there for links to all kinds of writing resources, from APA to Chicago and everything in between.

Script by Raamaan McBride, writer on the Communication and Publications team, and specialist on the Access Services Team.


Don’t Let This Be You! Part Four: Research Support


Stuck on a paper, a point of study, or a matter of research? Research Librarians in all fields are available to answer questions via appointment, live chat, or text at Falvey Memorial Library. They’re even pulling later hours during the busy finals season. 

Script by Raamaan McBride, writer on the Communication and Publications team, and specialist on the Access Services Team.


Past Masters: The World’s Greatest Thinkers at Your Fingertips

As we make our way into finals week, some of you may be getting more intimate with Falvey’s lounge in Holy Grounds, Falvey Hall’s reading room or the new Student Lounge for graduate students in the liberal arts and sciences, all of which are open 24/7. As you plug in, charge up, and tune in to finals mode, you should know that, if the worst should happen – if you forget to checkout a book – resources from the library are available to you even when our doors are closed.

Past Masters is a massive digital collection of published and unpublished works, articles, essays, letters, reviews and more from some of the world’s greatest thinkers. In addition to classical, medieval, continental, British and American philosophy, you can find electronic editions of works in religious studies, political thought, sociology, the history of science, economics and the classics. Past Masters also offers The English Letters Collection, which consists of letters, notebooks diaries and memoirs of everyone from Austen to Yeats, and The Women Writers Collection: primary works, letters, journals and notebooks of de Beauvoir, Bronte, Shelley, Wollstonecraft and other famous women writers.

You can find Past Masters on our Database A-Z list, or through the philosophy, theology/religious studies, English, classical studies, and Augustine and Culture seminar subject guides.

(Images from Past Masters)

(Images from Past Masters)

Test your knowledge: How many of these authors do you recognize? (See below for answer key.)

Need to locate a passage from Augustine’s Confessions? Or trace the use of a single word throughout Aristotle’s entire works? Past Masters allows full-text searching by term, author, title and subject. Texts are available to you in in Latin, French, German, Danish, English and in authoritative English translation. Many works in the collection even feature hyperlinked endnotes and pop-up annotations, so you don’t have to flip back and forth through any dense books in print. You can even get a citation in plain text, or export it to your RefWorks or EndNote account.

Encountering a problem with Past Masters? Have a question or comment? Feel free to contact the Library by phone at (610) 519-4270 or by text at (610) 816-6222, or email me personally at alexander.williams@villanova.edu.


Author Portrait Answers

From left to right and top to bottom: W.B. Yeats, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Adam Smith, Katherine Mansfield, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Alexander Williams, ’11 MA, is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. He is currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Science at Drexel University’s iSchool.


Don’t Let This Be You! Part Three: Late Night Reference Librarians


Stuck on a paper, a point of study, or a matter of research? Research Librarians in all fields are available to answer questions via meeting, live chat, or text at Falvey Memorial Library. They’re even pulling later hours during the busy finals season. 


Script by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Publications team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Don’t Let This Be You! Part Two: 24 Hour Study Rooms



There’s no reason to flee the campus or keep your roommate awake during a long cram session—Falvey Memorial Library offers plenty of quiet study space in the lead-up to finals, including the new 24 Hour Reading Room.

Script by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Publications team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Don’t Let This Be You! Part One: Coffee


Falvey Memorial Library has got you covered for late-night java and snacks during finals season. Holy Grounds in the 24-Hour lounge will stay open past midnight beginning December 16th.  

See the barista for specific hours and information.

Script by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Publications team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Extended Library Hours December 9 – 19


To provide students with additional late night study facilities, the main Library will have extended hours beginning today, Monday, Dec. 9th. We’ll be open most nights until 3:00 a.m. As always, the 24/7 lounge is accessible via wildcard access. Check the Hours link on the library homepage for a full listing of extended hours.

rrwindtreAnd, now open for its inaugural finals season, the Falvey Hall lounge and Reading Room provide a cozy and inspirational space for quiet study.

From everyone at Falvey, good luck on your papers and final exams!


Foto Friday: Reopening the Reading Room

Poley DeGhetaldi Ellis

Darren Poley, Interim Library Director; Kristin DeGhetaldi, Conservator, University of Delaware; Rev. Kail C. Ellis, Ph.D., O.S.A., Vice President for Academic Affairs

The reopening of the Falvey Hall Reading Room and public restoration of Pietro da Cortona’s painting of David and Goliath.

Photograph by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Publications Team.


Magnificent but hidden reading room (and new 24-hour study space) unveiled


Falvey Hall reading room

In 2012, when St. Joseph’s University opened a multi-million-dollar addition to its library, a highlight was the new reading room: a comfortable, inviting space with two-story-high ceilings and large windows along one wall. Sounds like an ideal, even inspirational space for studying, doesn’t it? How surprised would you be to learn that, right now, Villanova University has a similar reading room? Falvey Hall’s reading room features a two-story-high arched ceiling and enormous windows along not one but two walls that flood the room with natural light.

I joined Falvey Memorial Library’s staff in 2002; at that time the room was a staff-only space used to store the VHS tape and DVD collections as well as microfilm and microfiche. It also housed the Mathematics Learning Resource Center. Whenever I brought a new student-employee through there, each one would have the same reaction: we’ve got to make this place a reading room again.

In 1949, when our current Falvey Hall opened as the Villanova College Library, The Villanovan described the reading room as follows: “The reading room, the largest room in the structure, occupies the entire two floors of the north wing. Book racks line the walls at about shoulder level, and long blond-oak tables with matching chairs are arranged in the room.” “Curtained windows, almost from the floor to the ceiling filled this room with homey warmth” (“A Century of Progress” The Villanovan, Feb. 15, 1949, p. 3). How did such a wonderful resource for students become unused and forgotten?

RS5189_BookScanStation-2012-06-07-02-34-03-PM (1)Less than two decades after its opening in 1949, the Villanova College Library had become inadequate to meet the needs of a growing University and its expanding student body. Villanova built a new library, Falvey Memorial Library, which opened in 1968. This new facility included a reserve room. Filled with tables and chairs, and intended for quiet study, this one-story room on the new library’s ground level served as a replacement for the former library’s reading room.

(The Rev. Dennis Gallagher, OSA, PhD, University archivist, provided the information in the following paragraph.)

Also at this time, the University had been providing a graduate program in library science, and, the Library Science Department had occupied the Villanova College Library’s second floor. After the new library opened, the Library Science Department moved into the Villanova College Library’s first floor, including the reading room. “On September 21, 1974, the dedication of the Eastern Area Branch Library Examination Center took place. This collection was located in the … reading room for several years. After the Examination Center moved, the room was used for the professional collection of the Library Science Department, including children’s literature, reference resources and other materials. [In the] late 1980s, microfilm, microfiche, film, slides, VHS tapes and DVD collections were housed in that area. Early in the 1990s when the Library Science program was terminated, [additional reading-room] space was allocated to the Mathematics Learning Resource Center,” according to Father Gallagher. (more…)


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Last Modified: October 24, 2013