The Catholic University of America

Introduction

In February 2012 the DuFour Law Library conducted its biennial student satisfaction survey. We conduct this survey to determine how you, the law students, perceive library services and facilities. First, we want to thank all students who participated in the survey. We are very pleased with the response rate; a total of 215 students participated in the survey, which is 28% of the total law school student population. In particular, we would like to extend a note of gratitude to the graduating students who responded. As a graduate you may not directly benefit from the results of the survey; however, by participating you are helping to make the Library and the Law School a better facility for future CUA law students. Second, we want you to know that the responses you provided are taken very seriously. In addition to compiling your responses to the questions we have also read each and every comment submitted. Comments are very helpful to us as we analyze survey results. As soon as we assimilated the results of the survey a number of senior library staff met to discuss how we can respond, both in the short term and in the long term, to the issues that are of concern to you. This document outlines those issues and details our plan to address them.

This survey posed several new questions designed to determine what you, our students, want most from the library.  Responses indicate that a comfortable, quiet environment with space for both individual and group study is most valued.  Good service and research assistance are also important. We are pleased to find that the majority of you feel that we are fulfilling these needs.  In almost all categories, the library received ratings of either excellent or very good.  Comments indicate that awareness of library services and resources continues to be a challenge, as some of you are unaware of specific databases or equipment that the library offers. Most of you rated the library facilities as comfortable and conducive to studying.  However, as in 2010, the issues of temperature control and the need for more quiet and comfortable seating continue to be of concern. All of these points, together with a number of other issues and our responses to them, are discussed in greater detail below.

Library Response

Facility

  • Temperature: the temperature in the library (and in much of the law school) is centrally controlled and set to fall in the 68 – 72 degree range. The thermostats reflect the temperature, but cannot be used to raise or lower it. Recently, the library and law school experienced some extreme temperature fluctuations, as a result of equipment malfunctions.  Repairs have been made and we have confirmed that the temperature is falling within the correct range. Please note that it is often colder near the windows.
  • Noise: this continues to be an issue for students, although we regard this as a self-policing issue. The Library has attempted to achieve a balance between quiet areas and those areas where talking is permitted. We ask that students be respectful of one another and not talk in the quiet end of the library. Faculty and staff have also been reminded of the need for quiet.  This summer we will investigate whether a re-arrangement of some of the soft seating areas might help reduce the noise issue.
  • Mice: unfortunately this is a campus wide problem and we are working with our facilities crew to tackle this issue in a humane way.  Students can also help us by not eating in the Library. 

Equipment & Technology

  • Scanners: by the Fall of 2012 there will be 2 document feed scanners available to students.  One will be located in the main lobby on the 2nd floor, and the other will be located in the Government Documents/Microform Room on the 3rd floor.  In addition, it is hoped that by the Fall Semester all students should be able to use the photocopiers as scanners.
  • Desk Top Computers: In response to student usage of the library-supplied desk top computers we plan on upgrading the vast majority of the PCs through the installation of a virtual server this summer.  The virtual server will relieve the individual PCs of the need to constantly upgrade and should create more stability and improved performance across all the PCs connected to it.

Library Resources
 

  • Awareness of library resources: the Library has a large variety of resources that it hopes the students will fully utilize. Always striving to improve our service, the Library is investigating ways to better publicize these resources.  The first step in achieving this has been the appointment of a library committee dedicated to exploring new and traditional methods of communicating with students so that they become more aware of the services and resources that we make available.  One of the biggest issues the survey highlighted was that students often don't know that they can access certain databases or that we offer certain services.
  • Website: as part of our effort to make students more aware of our resources and services we hope to give our website a gentle facelift this summer.  This will enable us to promote certain services and help you, the student, access the resources you need more quickly.
  • Databases: based on the feedback we received from students we hope to do a better job of publicizing certain databases and evaluating others for their content.  We will also be introducing a more integrated online journal finder during the summer.  We are also excited to announce that during the summer we will be rolling out a new, more user friendly version of our online catalog, Columbo.  The current version will still exist, however the new version will add new levels of functionality to the catalog.
  • Mobile Optimization: the survey indicated that more and more students are using mobile devices to access library resources.  In response to this we have gone live with a mobile optimized version of Columbo, and in the near future we hope to work with CPIT on campus to provide a mobile version of our website.  

 Questions or comments?  You can always reach us via the Library suggestion box.