News from the Dean: Tell Us What You Want in the Library!

Student academic success sits at the heart of the library’s focus. As librarians, we seek input from students and faculty on an ongoing basis to better understand what students need from the library. We hear from students in many ways. Sometimes students give us valuable unsolicited feedback and other times we formally request it. Either way, we welcome hearing from you.

The most common request is for longer hours. It is the top concern from students.  Usually is it presented to us as a need for 24X7 access to the Miller Nichols Library (MNL).  The costs to increase hours is very dependent on different scenarios: 1. if we would provide 24X7 or 2. add extra hours where it would make the greatest difference. One area we would like to explore further with students is: what hours would you most likely use the library? With that information, we can budget accordingly. Last spring we gathered cost information on expanding hours in MNL and the Health Sciences Library to 2AM and the costs were about $125,000 per year. That does not include one-time costs to make changes at MNL to restrict use to only part of the building or adding card-readers in both of the libraries to address security needs and costs. What hours are you most likely to use the libraries?

Other items we hear people would like are related to the facilities and technology. Things such as:

  • More lockers
  • More study rooms
  • More collaborative technology
  • More white boards
  • Silent and quiet study areas
  • More comfortable furniture
  • Laptops and more iPads to check out
  • More electrical outlets
  • Better Web site

But really—we need to hear from more students and faculty on what they want in the way of facilities, technology, expert staff, and research materials. We plan on reaching out to talk to you through surveys, focus groups, town meetings, discussions with student groups, white board and suggestion box collection of ideas, etc. during the Spring semester. All of this feedback will give the libraries a much better idea on where we should be going and what resources we need to get there.

But don’t wait till you hear about a scheduled group discussion. You can stop by a library service desk and let the library staff know of your ideas or leave a note in the suggestion boxes in the libraries or online. Or you can directly email me, Bonnie Postlethwaite.