CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 13, 1999
UI Libraries announces students' suggestions for improvements
IOWA CITYUniversity of Iowa graduate and professional
students want the Libraries' facilities refurbished and remodeled; staffing
levels increased; increased library instruction, improved range of access
to its collections; and library resources more greatly publicized. The recommendations
were gathered in a recently completed survey that complements a 1998 survey
of undergraduates who suggested the Libraries improve signage and customer
In response to the students' earlier recommendations,
the Libraries has taken steps to improve services, such as customer service
training; referrals; made additional services available on the Web; and has
improved resource delivery with better physical and electronic access to library
materials. Other previously taken steps to improve the physical facility include
refurbishing sections of the Main Library through funding from the UI administration.
Work is also under way to replace OASIS, the Libraries'
text-based electronic catalog, with a user-friendly Web-based system scheduled
for operation in fall 2000.
Overall, the two student groups expressed a general
satisfaction with the library system, particularly on-site services. A faculty
and staff survey will be conducted in the 1999-00 academic year.
Last July UI Student Government leaders toured the
Main Library to assess its services and facilities. At that time student leaders
proposed improvements similar to the latest student recommendations.
Barbara Dewey, director, Information and Research
Services, says the Libraries' User Needs Assessment Project is a three-step
plan to assess library user satisfaction with current information services
and resources; help identify library-wide user services and resource needs;
and increase dialogue and involvement with library users.
"The results of the surveys are proving invaluable
for planning improvements and also underscore the need to better publicize
existing services and resources which address some of the needs expressed
by students," Dewey says. Dewey further indicated the Libraries' plan to work
closely with undergraduate and graduate student leaders on these improvements.
UI Libraries staff worked with the Office of the Registrar
and campus statisticians to draw a statistically significant random stratified
sample. The undergraduate sample was drawn by class standing and college;
the graduate and professional student survey was drawn by college delineation
and by special enrollment within the Graduate College.
Surveys were prepared with input from focus groups
regarding survey content, design, implementation strategies, and data analysis.
Two consecutive mailings for each study resulted in a 39.5 percent response
rate for the Undergraduate Study; and a 44 percent response rate for the Graduate
and Professional Student Study.
Complete results of the undergraduate and graduate
surveys may be found at http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/lib/unag.
For additional information contact Barbara I. Dewey, Information and Research
Services, 319-335-5871 or firstname.lastname@example.org