October 26, 2010

Globe and Mail Report Released.

The Globe and Mail's 2010 Canadian University Report came out this week and Alloway Library received another good report from our users who gave us a B+ for overall satisfaction with the library. The letter grade puts us in the same (or better) overall satisfaction rank as the other 7 BC institutions surveyed for the report. Of 59 university libraries across Canada, we sit in the middle tier with 25 other large and small institutions.

The B+ tells us that TWU students are as satisfied with Alloway Library as students at UBC or SFU are with their own respective institutions’ libraries. In an article accompanying the results Alex Usher notes that:

“overall, Canadian undergrads are a pretty happy bunch.” Even “where big schools should have an advantage, for example in libraries…students at smaller schools tend to report higher levels of satisfaction than students from big schools.” That “can sometimes seem a bit unfair” he continues, “shouldn’t those millions of extra volumes and millions of dollars worth of extra electronic resources count for something?—and cast doubts on the usefulness of surveying students. But in fact, (the results) are telling us something important about the undergraduate experience. In this case, it’s that for undergrads, libraries are (more than anything else) places for quiet and/or collaborative study. Once you take that into account, the putative advantage held by big schools disappears…”
Usher is wrong when he says that libraries are primarily study halls. Alloway Library users continue to borrow and use vast quantities of library resources, from our shelves and online; undergrads account for nearly half of all items circulated this year and our professional staff provide over 50 hours of in-person and online assistance each week.

Yet, if study space is a key satisfaction indicator then Alloway Library excels. Our users put us ahead of every other BC institution that was surveyed by giving us an A- for Availability of Study Space. (That mark also puts us above the average for all schools in our size category.)

The report card dropped 3 of six satisfaction indicators this year including Service Provided by Staff. Previous reports show that this is a category in which Alloway Library excels. Aside from the A- in Availability of Study Space, Alloway Library users gave us a B for Availability of Books/Articles/Periodicals and B+ for Library Hours of Operation.

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