CNHS Student Survey Results: “The atmosphere focuses me….”

In the spring of 2013, Librarians Frances Delwiche and Gary Atwood surveyed students in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS). The eleven-question survey asked students about how they spent their time in the library as well as their level of satisfaction with library space, services and resources. Generally speaking, results show that CNHS students have a very positive view of the physical library and the resources and services that are offered.

Students were also asked to submit comments about the library. One of the major themes to emerge from these comments is the idea of the library as a refuge for serious study. In many cases, students cited specific attributes like the “comfy chairs” or the study tables as factors that contributed to this sentiment. Others referred to more intangible factors such as the lighting or the “sense of openness.” Students were equally pleased with the library’s resources with several mentioning online journals and e-books as important. They were also complimentary about library services such as the “incredibly helpful and patient” librarians at the Reference Desk and the staff who are, “ALWAYS willing to help.”

“You know you mean business when you walk in. No messing around at the Dana. You can always get work done there.”

Even when students did register complaints, they were usually tied to something that they liked about the library. In other words, students would cite a positive library characteristic and then request more of the same when asked about what they would change. Several respondents, for example, stated that they preferred to use the individual study carrels located near the back of the library and wished that they library would install more to ensure availability. From the library’s point of view, this is actually a very positive statement, because it shows that we are providing access to resources that students need and want to use.

Although we only heard from a sample of the CNHS students, the results were very important. They show that the library is having a positive impact by providing students with a space conducive to serious study and the resources and service to help them complete their work. Of course, they also show areas where we need to continue improving, which we are committed to doing in the months and years ahead.