Think back to a time when we were dashing across campus, dodging snow flurries and picking up a coffee at Holy Grounds before catching a game at the Pavilion. Given how much our daily routines have changed so dramatically and so quickly, it’s hard to believe that it was also only 3 months ago that Falvey Library was circulating surveys to our faculty and a random sampling of students to gain feedback and insights about how Falvey can better serve the Villanova community. We asked questions about study spaces, events, physical collections, in-person research consultations, and your interactions with the library building. Oh, how things have changed!
Though we’re still in the midst of adjusting to our remote work, remote research, and remote learning realities, all of us at Falvey wanted to take a moment to thank the Villanova community for completing our survey in February and March. We were thrilled to learn that you were extremely satisfied with our services overall, that the survey revealed library services you may not have been aware of, and that you were able to provide helpful feedback on potential new services. Most importantly, during our time away from campus, so many of us have been able to take advantage of the extensive electronic resources that Falvey offers, from eBooks to eJournals to Databases, ILL requests, and online research consultations with our librarians. Though our building is currently closed, Falvey has continued to provide Villanova with high-quality electronic resources and virtual research support that our community needs to continue to thrive as a leading research institution.
Among the highlights of the survey results, we found that more than 40% of undergraduates were not aware that Falvey procures seamless electronic access to scholarly journal articles for the Villanova community. While on Villanova’s network on campus, clicking on a journal article from a Google search result will likely deliver you to that article on the publisher’s platform. However, with more of us working and studying off-campus, that same click might present you with a paywall and ask you to log in or purchase pay-per-view access. To avoid this dead end, you can perform the same search from the library homepage and then log in with your Villanova credentials when prompted, or for faculty and staff, log in to Villanova’s VPN for IP authentication via the publisher.
Electronic resource subscriptions account for the largest piece of Falvey’s collections budget, but this investment is well-founded as usage of these resources (articles/chapters/video views) is extremely high:
Comments (we do have books!)
When we asked about what you did when you visited the library building, we received a lot of comments about checking out books as well as questions about why we didn’t ask about books. In order to keep the survey as brief as possible, we had grouped this in a single option about using our collections: “Use/borrow the general print, A/V, or electronic collections”. Rest assured, we have lots of books, we value books, and we will continue cultivating our print book collection for years to come.
At the same time, we are also thinking about library space needs, a potential renovation, and future planning for operating in times of coronavirus and beyond. When access to our physical collection becomes limited, we’re especially grateful to have electronic versions of many of the same print books available via remote access.
We also asked our faculty and graduate students about their research, publication, and digital scholarship needs, which will inform the offerings of Falvey’s brand new Digital Scholarship Lab (construction nearly complete) to be led by our Digital Scholarship Librarian, Erica Hayes. Faculty with copyright or publication questions can also utilize the expertise of our new Scholarly Communications Librarian, Sarah Wipperman. Additionally, we asked faculty about their familiarity with Open Educational Resources, which aligns with the new OER Grant sponsored by the Office of the Provost.
I’ll be providing another update as the Fall Semester approaches on some of the changes Falvey will have implemented as a result of this survey. If you have any additional feedback for the library, or if you would be interested in participating in future focus groups, please let us know!
John Banionis is the Metrics & Assessment Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.