WLU Library looking for feedback

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Before reading week, the Wilfrid Laurier University Library sent out surveys to students in order to gain knowledge regarding their concerns with the library. While these library surveys are not new, they are continually sent out every few years as student’s concerns often change.

According to Greg Sennema, an associate librarian, the survey is put out by the Association of Research Libaries organization every year.

“Every three years Canadian libraries co-ordinate a group effort, and we can join in or not,” explained Sennema.

The previous surveys in which Laurier participated were used to improve campus and judge how the library was developing. He said the goal was to “get three years worth of data and compare across to see if we improved or not improved over the years.”

Data from the survey is viewed in both qualitative and quantitative ways to discern how the library is doing. The information provided in the survey can help the library know if they are providing adequate and appropriate materials for students.

The survey addresses the physical library space itself, the materials that are accessible, as well as the staff and over-all experience provided to students.

In 2007, the largest concern were the hours in which the library was open, and in 2010, wireless connections were a problem that needed to be addressed.
Sennema said that the preliminary results of this year’s survey suggest that the major issue mentioned by students who completed the survey revolved around the need for more space.

“It’s no surprise…that space is an issue,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise on campus, but this is just more evidence that…space is an issue.”

The survey is not the only way in which the Laurier Library reaches out to students. There is also a library student’s advisory council, which meets regularly and connects librarians with students in order to make the library as helpful to students as possible.

Mike Hylton, a third-year student, completed the survey and found it useful in voicing his opinions.

“During intense study periods, around exams and midterms, it’s almost impossible to find a seat anytime throughout the day,” he said.

Eric Vero, a second-year student, did not complete the survey, but still has concerns about the library’s resources.

“We need more books,” he told The Cord. “I often find that I will have to go to the University of Guelph or UW to pick up a book; although [the Laurier Library] is really speedy about delivering books, there’s still that time delay.”

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