Survey Time!

Do you like us? Yes or Yes

If you haven’t had a chance to take the Library survey, take six minutes and help us help you: Take the Library Survey.  From now until April 24th, the annual library survey is your chance to suggest changes, recommend new services or collections, and/or lodge complaints about the temperature.

Not convinced it does any good?  Here’s a list of changes the library has made this year based on actual student, staff, and faculty comments on last year’s survey:

“Make it easier to know what rooms are available to be reserved for group study.

In the past, study room reservations were managed using old-fashioned, quaint methods like telephone reservation.  Last November, the library completely overhauled the reservation system and instituted the “Book It” online system.  Want to reserve a study room?  Click on a green square, log in, and now you’re done.  You receive an email confirmation of the booking, and your green square has now turned red, alerting other users that your room is now reserved.

Screenshot of Bookit

“EVERY survey EVERY year I ask that the library consider adding the HeinOnline database, which would benefit business, communication, history, and political science.”

We heard you, and now—until October 2017—we are running a trial of HeinOnline’s Government Politics and Law for Academics.  This database the world’s largest government documents and legal research database.  You can learn more about it here.

The library receives requests to add new databases all the time.  Sometimes we can accommodate, but sometimes we cannot (for a variety of reasons, cost being only one of them).  A trial is often an excellent way to gauge the databases that will be used heavily and those that may not meet the needs of the students, faculty, and staff as well as another, competitive database.  For example, we already subscribe to LexisNexis Academic, another large legal, business, and government document resource.  Is it better than HeinOnline?  You be the judge and tell us at Ask A Librarian.

“I would like to see more database access”

Say no more—the library has added several new databases in the past year, including many in STEM fields.  Here’s just a few:

“Open up more rooms for private study groups.”

We did it!  Adding more study rooms has been a top issue in just about every survey since we started making surveys.  In the past, the Library’s study rooms were often targeted as swing space for other departments while other buildings were under construction and the campus grew.  This year, with the removal of TRIO offices to the new Brown Building, we were able to reclaim some of our old study rooms, bringing the total number available to nine.  Thanks in part to your survey responses, the Library was able show how important these study rooms were to our students, thus saving them from further repurposing by outside offices.  Finally, the study rooms are back serving their original purpose: study rooms for the students.

“Tutoring available for all majors at the library, not Doc Bryan.”

Done.  The Library has partnered with the office of Student Success to host tutoring on the second floor of the Ross Pendergraft Library, each Thursday and Sunday night from 5-9 p.m.  Read more about it at Tech News or see the complete tutoring schedule from ATU Office of Student Success.

“Updated furniture. The atmosphere has much to do with how I learn, and I get distracted by the old, worn furniture.”

Yes!  We agreed.  That’s why, last January, the Library replaced most of the older computer chairs & floral patterned couches with newer, more functional, more attractive, and more comfortable seating.

“Perhaps add a few more computer stations.”

Coming soon!  The first floor is in the process of adding 12 additional computer stations.  Right now, the computer desks are there, but the computers are on the way.  Stay tuned!

“Make library always 24 hours”

We did this—a little bit.  The library still opens 24 hours during finals, and we’ve extended our hours during the week, until 1:00 AM.

We would love to extend our hours further, but, in order to do this, we need more staff, more safety, and more students taking advantage of the late hours we already offer.

But keep asking!  Let us know that this issue and other issues are important to you.  We may not be able to make the changes you want right now, but each voice helps guide our decisions and strengthen our requests to the campus administration.  Your opinions matters—and we are listening.  This is YOUR library so tell us how to make it better.

Tell Us!

 

Library Survey

Do you think the library needs more computers? More study rooms? Less big tables, or more? Do you use some technologies and services more than others? Do you need more help getting the most out of your library experience? This is the time to let your voice be heard!

The school year is drawing to a close, and once again the librarian staff of RPL implores patrons to open our minds by taking the annual survey. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and alumni and community patrons to give us feedback regarding services and materials, as well as provide comments on levels of satisfaction. Feedback from this survey helps us determine what needs are being met, what sources are being used the most or least, and how best we can serve patrons throughout the year.

The survey is available on our website. Estimated time of completion is 6 minutes. The majority of questions issued relate to the relevance of available sources, both physical and electronic; the frequency with which these items are used (such as multimedia, microforms, periodicals, ebooks, etc.); and the satisfaction of service from circulation, reference, and interlibrary loan (ILL). Other services, such as individual instruction and special events, will also be a topic for feedback.

The deadline for taking the survey is Monday, April 11 at 11:59 pm. Please complete it as soon as possible. We really want to know what you think about us and how we can make this the best library for you!

just do it

There’s Still Time

If you haven’t flipped over to the survey, you still have until this Friday, April 4, to let us know what you think of the library, its collections, services, and people.  In 5-10 minutes, you have the power to shape what books we buy, what formats we buy them in, what services we should offer, and what policies we should adopt to improve the library as a place to study, relax, and check Facebook learn important things about the world.

When we hosted the spring survey last year, over 500 students, faculty, and staff took the survey and gave us their suggestions, complaints, and praises for Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center.  We highlighted the most common suggestions earlier last year, and have worked hard ever since to enhance the library in those areas where we could.

Because of your responses, we have made progress in updating our book collection, increasing the number of full-text journals, creating new research guides, and adding new databases (like Mango Languages, Library PressDisplay, and Statistical Abstract of the U.S.).  We even put together a new online course reserve form for faculty, and a new library and research guide specifically for online-only students.

Factors like temperature, study space, and 24 hour service are still out of our control, however.  Additionally, we had to scrap some of the more creative suggestions for how to improve the library, such as:

  • A sugar-daddy to leave a million or so to grow the collection.
  • Have a nap room.
  • Play some classical music throughout the public areas of the building and in the elevators.
  • Move it closer to my dorm.
  • Get rid of the apple computers.
  • Get some more MACs.

While we cannot implement all of your great ideas, we’ll do our best to make sure your research-related needs are met.  Keep the feedback coming by taking the survey or by emailing your strongly agreeable librarians at askalibrarian@atu.edu.  Remember, it is YOUR library–help us make it  a better place for YOU.

http://techlibrarysurvey2014.questionpro.com/

Survey says…

Last month, over 500 Tech Library users participated in the annual spring Library survey and provided important feedback to help improve library services and collections.  Several of you provided comments or asked specific questions about some of the library’s services.  Since you took the time to share your thoughts, we would like to take the time to answer some of the questions and share our plans to improve in the areas which are in our control, and identify areas not in our control.  Below were some of the most commonly asked questions.

Searching/Tutorials

Q. I have a difficult time finding library resources and using the databases is very confusing. Do you have any ‘how to’ guides for finding resources or ways to make searching for information easier?

A. The Library has access to several databases, journals, books, and other materials –so many, in fact, that it can be very difficult to know where to begin searching. Here are some of the resources we have to assist students and faculty on how to use the Library:

1. Video Tutorials: The Library website actually has an entire page devoted to tutorials for most of our commonly used databases.  Here is how to get there:  library.atu.edu > Help > Database Tutorials.  Many of these tutorials are YouTube videos with step-by-step instructions.  We also have library tutorials on how to use the Dewey Decimal system, the Library Catalog, and Interlibrary Loan Services.  These are all located at library.atu.edu > Help > Library Tutorials.  We plan to add two new videos: “Intro to the Tech Library Online Resources” and “Search Efficiently the Online Catalog with Subjects” for the fall 2013 semester.

2. Instruction: The Library also provides personal and group instruction throughout the year, at the library or in a classroom elsewhere on campus.  Students can schedule one-on-one instruction with Sherry Tinerella stinerella@atu.edu, 479-964-0571 or a Library Tour with Beverly Cooper at bcooper8@atu.edu, 479-498-6041.  Faculty can also contact Sherry Tinerella for classroom instruction or library tours.  For more information, view our Information for Faculty page (library.atu.edu > Services > Information for Faculty). We are also implementing a new faculty-oriented instructional session before the fall 2013 semester begins, in addition to new subject guides for students.

Website Navigation

Q. It takes a lot of clicks to get around on your website, and I have a very hard time finding anything!  Can you make navigation better?

A. There is a horizontal menu on every Library page, but many links lead outside of the Library site, and thus the navigation becomes different. To ease finding, we are creating a Tech Library sitemap with an alphabetized list of all library services and tools.  Coming soon this fall!

Journals (print and online)

Q. How come the Library does not have more full-text journals and articles?

A. Academic journal prices are very expensive.  We evaluate our journal subscriptions yearly and base our selection on factors like field specialization, feedback from faculty, cost, budget constraints, electronic availability, and usage. A balance of cost of subscription per number of uses is a strong indicator as to whether we keep or cancel journal subscriptions.  In other words—use it or lose it.

If you cannot find a particular article or journal title, Interlibrary Loan services can, in most cases, assist you in acquiring the article.  Copyright and other agreements may restrict usage, so we may not be able to satisfy all article requests.

Students are also encouraged to suggest journals titles by emailing us at askalibrarian@atu.edu or by using our online suggestion form located on our “Contact Us” page (library.atu.edu > Services >Contact Us).  Faculty members should send their requests directly to their departmental library liaison or department head.

Noise

Q. The Library is too loud, and there are not enough quiet places for me to study.  Can you make the Library a quieter place?

A. While we cannot be everywhere at once, our staff will be more vigilant in enforcing our existing noise policy.  We also have a new service desk on the second floor, next to the Music Lab, to help monitor noise levels during the day.  In addition, we are creating new signage to help remind students of designated quiet zones.  Designated quiet zones are located in the southeast corner of the first floor and the eastern half of the second floor.  If you hear someone being excessively loud, please feel free to notify staff.

Hours

Q. Will you extend the Library hours to 24/7?

A. Over a quarter of all 328 comments suggested extending hours or have 24/7 hours as the most important way to improve one’s Library experience.  However, in order to extend our hours, we need additional funding for the extra Library staff, computer services, and campus security—even for just a short time period like finals.

Temperature

Q. It is too cold in the winter time and too hot in the summer time. Can you make the temperatures more comfortable?

A. Temperature controls are set by campus administration in an effort to save energy.

Food/Drink

Q. Why can’t we have food and drinks in the Library?  What about vending machines or a coffee shop?

A. This is also something set by campus administration policy.  Food and drink can bring additional problems to the Library from insects, stains, and equipment damage.

Study Rooms

Q. Where did our study rooms go?

A. This was another common response, and it is also out of our control.  As Arkansas Tech grows and buildings undergo renovation, available space for displaced offices has become a serious problem throughout the campus.  The study rooms in the Library help alleviate these temporary shortages, and eventually, these study spaces will return as the other buildings are completed.  In the meantime, reserve the remaining study spaces early, and we will do our best to accommodate your group.

Thanks to everyone who took the survey and provided feedback.  For additional comments or collection suggestions, contact us at askalibrarian@atu.edu.  Students also have the opportunity to voice their concerns and questions through their Student Government Association: sga@atu.edu.

 

How are we doing?

There is STILL time to take the online Tech Library User Survey for the spring 2013:

http://TechLibrary-2013.questionpro.com

The questions are multiple choice, and the entire survey takes roughly 5-10 minutes.  Your opinion helps the library make important decisions from what books we buy, what formats we buy them in, and what policies we should adopt to make the library a better place to study, relax, and explore.  You have until April 5th, so send us your feedback soon!