The Catholic University of America

2014 Student Survey: Results and Library Response

Introduction

In February 2014 the DuFour Law Library conducted its biennial student satisfaction survey. This year, 128 students participated in the survey, which is 25% of the total law school student population. We want to thank our students for providing valuable feedback on library services, resources and facilities. In particular, we want to thank 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 law library and the Law School a better facility for future CUA law students. We’ve analyzed the results and read each and every comment submitted. Over the coming weeks, we’ll use the survey results to help us improve the services and resources that you have identified as being important to you. 

We are pleased to note that since we started conducting student surveys in 2004, use of the library and its resources has increased. We are gratified to find that the majority of students are satisfied with the services and resources the library offers. In almost all categories, the library received ratings of either excellent or very good. However, there are several areas that are of concern to students, including temperature control and technology support. These two concerns, along with a number of other issues and our responses to them, are discussed below.

Library Response

Technology Support

Following the University’s decision to eliminate the Law School’s Computer Services Department in January 2013, the Law Library staff members, and in particular Systems Librarian Len Davidson, have attempted to augment the support now offered by CUA Technology Services in Leahy Hall by providing on-site support. Survey results indicate that students are grateful for the library’s help but feel that more assistance is needed, particularly in regards to printing. The law library Director, law school administration and CUA Technology Services will meet over the summer to address this issue.

Library Hours 

In response to budget constraints, the law library had reduced weekend hours for the spring semester. Students indicate that they want later hours, particularly on Sundays. Beginning March 28, the law library will extend weekend hours by one hour each day. The new weekend schedule is:
 
  • Friday             7:30am – 8:45pm
  • Saturday          9:00am – 8:45pm
  • Sunday            Noon – 11:45pm

Several students also requested that the law library open at 7am on weekdays. The change to 7:30am was made to match the hours of Campus Police presence in the law school building.

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, due to a variety of equipment failures. The law school administration is working with CUA Facilities Maintenance and Operations to resolve these issues. Library staff monitor the temperature daily using a handheld digital thermometer and report any problems immediately.
  • Lights: CUA Facilities Maintenance and Operations is in the process of checking all library carrel and table lights, making repairs and replacing bulbs where necessary. Library staff submit a list of all overhead lights needing attention to CUA Facilities Maintenance and Operations every Monday. The response time to these lists varies according to workload. The law library administration will meet with CUA Facilities Maintenance and Operations in the hopes of improving these procedures.
  • Study Chairs: the law library staff will check all the study chairs over the summer to identify chairs that need tightening or other repairs.

Security 

Survey comments indicate that some students are under the impression that the law library experiences a large amount of theft. Fortunately, this is not true. According to CUA Campus Police, the library has experienced only one theft in the last year. Even so, we cannot stress enough the importance of safeguarding your valuables while in the library. Laptop locks are available for loan at the circulation desk. We also have a limited number of short-use lockers on Floor 2 near the elevators. Keys for these lockers may be checked out from the circulation desk.
 

We also received several comments about the lack of visible and responsive Campus Police officers in the law library and law school. The law library Director will meet with the law school administration and Campus Police to address this concern. 

Student Services 

  • The library will purchase Windows laptop power cords for checkout and a supply of earplugs.
  • Students may now renew reserve items online.
  • The laptop ban has been removed from the designated quiet areas on Floor 3 of the library.
  • Several students requested that one floor of the library be designated the quiet floor. The design of the library, with its open staircase and the Clark Reading Room, makes this type of arrangement impractical. The library has attempted to achieve a balance between quiet areas and those areas where talking is permitted. In general, talking in low voices is permitted on the east end of the library on all 3 floors (the area that begins at the restrooms and ends at the elevator). Talking on cell phones is permitted only on the east end of Floor 2, near reference and circulation.
  • Several students requested audio study aids. The law library does have two audio series (corresponding to required courses and some staple courses). Click here for more information.
  • The library is planning presentations in fall 2014 on two subjects of interest to survey respondents: 1) Finding Court Records & Briefs and 2) Submitting Your Writing for Publication.
  • The library will launch a concise newsletter in fall 2014 designed to keep students informed of the library’s services.
  • The library will explore ways to reconfigure select soft seating so that there is a good mix of comfortable seating available for quiet and group study.
  • The library will explore the possibility of making space available for 1-2 person study. 
Even though the survey has ended we still want to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments you can always reach us via the Library suggestion box, or you can talk to any staff member in person. Thank you for providing input and making your library a better facility.