Library user survey identifies growth opportunities

A March UM Libraries survey of more than 1,300 faculty, staff and students found that while overall satisfaction is high, recent facility improvements and an increased number of students using the library have left patrons wanting more.

“Probably the biggest single area of note was that undergraduates really wanted more seating in the building and better study spaces,” said Ryan Johnson, head of information, outreach and delivery services. “The library has become, in many ways, the study spot, so they’re looking for more spaces, more technology and more group spaces.”

Undergraduates, who made up 56 percent of respondents, requested increased study resources such as whiteboards, tables, chairs and computers. The survey also identified a need for increased access to online journals and for books in a number of subject areas.

Melissa Dennis, outreach and instruction librarian, said many respondents commented on the positive changes the library has already made to its facilities and resources.

“The overall satisfaction was very positive across the board,” Dennis said. “A lot of people commented on the changes we’ve made in recent years, especially in regards to facilities, and they just want more and more. To know that they’re in the building using our resources and that they want more ways to use [them] is great.”

This summer, the library will begin remodeling the first-floor study area to accommodate the facility requests.

“We’re adding more group study, more computers — everything they’re asking for,” Johnson said. “We’re really trying to be responsive to our users’ needs and wishes.”