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Library Survey Begins April 6; iPod Touch Up For Grabs

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
April 1, 2009

Think your opinion doesn’t matter? A 2004 survey conducted by the UNH Library resulted in extended hours, an increase in electronic resources and the addition of a café in Dimond Library so users can grab a snack while working instead of having to leave and come back.

A new survey that begins April 6 and runs until May 1 provides the chance to have your say again about library services that are important to you. Offered through the Association of Research Libraries LibQual program, the 45 questions are aimed at measuring levels of user satisfaction. More than 140 colleges and universities around the country are also conducting the survey.

“We really want to model our services around people’s needs,” says Sherry Vellucci, library dean. “It’s important to get feedback from people who use the library and those who don’t so we can adjust our services and allocate our resources most effectively.”

For providing that feedback, survey takers could win an iPod Touch, one of two $25 gift certificates donated by the UNH Bookstore, or one of five $10 gift cards donated by Dining Services, good in Zeke’s Café in the Dimond Library, or any other Dining-operated venue. Winners, chosen at random, will be identified through their email address.

“There are three big areas we want to look at: services, collections—what we have, how easily are they accessed- and the library as a place,” says Bill Ross, head of Special Collections. “This will give us the opportunity to go beyond the quantitative data.”

Questions rate the minimum acceptable level of service as well as the desired and perceived levels. Each has a rating of one through nine, with nine being the highest.

Areas queried include employee expertise and helpfulness; accessibility of information; space issues related to comfort and noise; and the range of resources. There is also a comment section.

A sampling of comments from the 2004 survey include: “I would like more electronic journal subscriptions in my field,” “Not enough computers in the Dimond during the busy time of the semester,” “I would like it if the library had more places to study away from people,” “Service and facilities are superior.  Collections can always be stronger.”

More than 700 comments were received.

“What do people want? Do they want the Writing Center in the Dimond Library? How can we best meet their needs?” says Assistant Dean Tracey Lauder. “We don’t want to make decisions in a vacuum. With input from the community, we can make sure we use our resources wisely and making the best decisions possible for our users.”

To take the survey, visit the library Web site at http://www.library.unh.edu/.


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