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Student Library Survey 2021-22: Trends

Trends 2016-17 - 2020-21

No survey was conducted in 2019-20 due to COVID.

Usage of Library building vs. Online Resources

Analysis of Usage

Usage of Physical Facilities - Face to Face and Online students are going in opposite directions. The percent of Face to Face students visiting the library 11 or more times in a semester was, by far, the highest ever - 50%. Online students are visiting less and less and scored the lowest in history - 6%.

Usage of Online Resources - Although Online students depend on Online Resources significantly more than Face to Face students, both groups are using Online Resource more.

Positive trends in three out of four metrics is one of the most positive results identified in this year's survey.


One question and one Category trended up

  • Library hours are adequate

Eleven questions and three Categories trended down compared to last year when only one trended down: I understand how to find books

The largest drops were in

  • Librarians are consistently courteous and helpful  -0.29
  • Online journals - 0.17
  • OneSearch - 0.17
  • Library Home Page - 0.17

Analysis of Scores

In 2018-19 the library generated an all-time high score of 4.48. Since then it has declined to 4.42. Both are good scores. A 0.06 decrease is not worrying in and of itself. Nor are the number of scores in decline -11 out of 23. Just as a “rising tides lift all boats,” so does a sinking tide lower all boats. More concern should be directed to the biggest trends, as noted below.

The biggest drop - Librarians are consistently courteous and helpful -0.29 - seems to be rooted in enforcement of library rules – specifically those involving food & drink and study room policies. Some students noted in their comments that library staff had been rude to them in the enforcement of the rules. On the other side of the issue, library staff report that they have never seen so much pushback from students and that they are being confronted with rule breaking on a daily basis.

Library computers and printers are up to date and in working order -0.24 - This was a surprise as we haven’t noticed any more complaints or breakdowns than in previous years. We have already learned that the IT Dept. intends to add new computers and update old ones next year, so hopefully this will improve.

Online journals -0.17 – With 40,000 online journals, and growing, user satisfaction should be going up. However, there has been a problem with linking this year, so the problem is probably one of Access, not Content.

OneSearch -0.17 – The library changed to the NEW OneSearch during the summer of 2020 along with every college library in SC. The new OneSearch is much more robust than the old, but also more complicated. There have also been issues with linking due to the switch from EZ Proxy to Open Athens.

Library Home Page -0.17 - The decline in satisfaction with the library’s home page is difficult to determine. No one ever complains about the Home Page and there were zero changes to the Home Page in 2021-22.

The library will take a multi-tiered approach, including fact seeking, to better understand the problems dealing with Online Journals, OneSearch, and the Library Home Page as we suspect they are interrelated. The switch from the old OneSearch to the NEW OneSearch and the switch from the old digital resource linking service EZ-Proxy to the new Open Athens resulted in literally thousands of broken links. Fixing them all has been a little like trying to eat an elephant. It takes time, and despite the large amount of progress we have already made, there is still work to do.