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Telling Our Story

Melanie Sellar, Head of Instruction & Assessment
Four students studying on the lower level of the library

The SCU Library reaches out every three to five years to faculty, students, and staff to gauge how well our services, resources, and spaces are meeting their needs. This data is important to us: we use it to help inform our priorities and projects.

For example, feedback given in 2014 underscored the need to create more individual study areas throughout the Llbrary, which we have done and continue to do.

Last spring another 700 people took the time to respond to our LibQual survey and share their thoughts (thank you!). What did we learn?

Our big takeaway: we continue to improve across all areas, even as our patrons raise the bar in terms of their expectations of us. Their perception of how well we are meeting their needs was consistently above their 2014 perception levels for services, resources, and space categories.

Overall satisfaction reported by our patrons was also consistent with that upward trend over the 2009 and 2014 surveys. They reported greater levels of satisfaction with how they are treated at the library and how well the library supports their learning, research, and teaching needs. Our overall service quality was rated its highest ever in the last decade. 

We also pulled the data apart to determine how faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates may or may not perceive us differently - and indeed they do. Faculty told us that we are doing very well in terms of our service quality and spaces. In fact, we exceeded their expectations on many of these questions!
For example, our readiness to respond to their questions and to provide one-on-one support in a caring fashion were stand out areas for us.

At the same time, faculty communicated their high expectations for our collections (print and digital) and their ease of use. Given the complexity and variety of the products in the scholarly information environment, this is an area that we agree needs ongoing, intensive attention and innovation. We’ll consider how we can to continue to act upon their feedback in specific ways.

Once again, our graduate and undergraduate students were unwavering in telling us that space is paramount to them. They value study areas which are varied, comfortable, inviting, and quiet. This message has consistently come across in recent surveys and we’ve responded by increasing the number of study spaces, creating quiet study areas, and replacing furniture to increase comfort, versatility, and privacy.

Like faculty, graduate students place importance on service quality and they reported that the library is doing well in meeting those expectations. They care about courteous, receptive, and knowledgeable employees, and we are hitting those targets.

There is a lot to celebrate in this round of LibQual feedback received from our community. The SCU Library shows a consistent pattern of improvement against patrons’ high expectation levels. Importantly, we used feedback to inform program improvement, so where there is room to grow we’ll intentionally look into how to do so.

Our top achievements according to
Faculty: Giving users individual attention
Graduate Students: Readiness to respond to users' questions
Undergraduate Students: Willingness to help users


May 20, 2019