Every few years, the Christopher Center circulates a survey to gather student opinions on ways to improve the campus library. This week, the survey went live to the student body.
In 2012, the Christopher Center conducted a similar survey, and the feedback resulted in a very large change for the library. The third and fourth floors were converted to computerless, completely quiet floors, and the resources available online were supplemented significantly.
Assistant professor of Library Services Mark Robison and Interlibrary Loan manager Stephanie Frederick, both of whom sit on the Christopher Center Library Assessment Committee, spoke to some of the changes that occurred in 2012, and the results they hope to see with the current survey.
“We did it in 2012. We had 577 responses. For our undergraduates, we had about 339 responses, so about 58% were undergraduates which is where we usually aim,” Frederick said.
Frederick and Robison agree that the main goal of the survey is to collect student opinions. The first survey in 2012 provided a massive change to the library that has largely benefited the student body.
“Students wanted clear delineation between quiet spaces and louder spaces,” Robison said.
“The whole space just sort of changed because they said they wanted more study space, they wanted quiet spaces,” Frederick said.
These opinions led to the addition of the many study carrels on the third and fourth floors, none of which existed before 2012.
Faculty also partook in the survey, which led to an improvement in the online databases already in the library. Different packages were purchased to supplement the Christopher Center’s pre-existing databases, providing new resources such as a variety of academic journals.
Other library-associated services benefited from the survey as well, such as Grinders and the Writing Center.
“It’s always surprising, for instance, during that survey we even got comments about some of the other non-library areas, and we forwarded those to them,” Frederick said.
This time around, the Christopher Center Library Assessment Committee hopes to collect opinions that will bring about the kind of change that the previous survey did. The anonymous survey also provides a means for students to voice their complaints in a manner that feels appropriate--most of the student interaction with the librarians comes in the classroom.
“I think we’re going into this without many expectations. We’re doing it because we think it’s a good practice. We only know what students tell us, and often in our interactions with students, they may not feel like that’s the moment to share their complaints with us,” Robison said.
The survey opened Tuesday and will remain open through Monday, Feb. 13, allowing students ample time to respond with their feedback. Frederick and Robison are optimistic about the success of the survey based on the results gathered just within the first 24 hours--more than 250 completed surveys.
“255 is pretty encouraging,” Robison said.
The survey is one page, and takes about five to seven minutes to complete. It can be accessed via an email link, which was sent to campus on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Participants will be placed in a drawing to win a copy of Valpo-opoly from the Valparaiso University Guild.
The Christopher Center Library Assessment Committee is committed to providing students with the best library possible, and is optimistic that this survey will help facilitate constructive feedback.
“We do take this seriously, we want (student) comments, so we can actively respond to them,” Frederick said.