University of Oregon

UO Libraries' Libqual+ Survey -- Comments from our Users

Every 4-5 years the University of Oregon Libraries participates in LibQual+, a national service quality survey sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries.  The survey measures user satisfaction along three dimensions: library as place, affect of service, and information control.

In addition to the numeric ratings of our services, the survey instrument is useful in gathering comments from our users.    Here are some representative comments and our response:

Comments from our users regarding collections and access to information resources:

Many participants in the 2010 LibQual study commented on the UO Libraries’ collections.  While some comments were positive, many reflect a sense that our collections are in decline.  In other cases, participants were frustrated with trying to access materials here or at Summit partner libraries.

“The service and staff at the library are excellent. The problem is the lack of books in my field and our inability to continue to order entire lines of books and journals. We don't even have access to complete JSTOR.”

“The library does very well with limited resources, but it feels like it is on the very edge of falling below a minimum level of resources.”

“Although shifts are taking place in academic publishing toward digital media and delivery, it is essential that the library continue to aggressively purchase actual books published by academic presses.  In most instances, having the publications of academic presses in the Summit system isn't good enough….  Summit do[es] provide a useful second option in the event that multiple users need the same resource.”

Despite the increasing financial pressures of the last twenty years, collections are at the top of our priorities.  And while all universities and academic libraries are feeling the pinch, there are some bright spots.

  • Thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Louise C. Wade, we’re substantially expanding our JSTOR subscription.  Starting this fall, users will see many more articles available full-text in JSTOR.  We’ll also see a large collection of digitized primary source materials related to the American West, an expansion of our online newspaper archives to include The Los Angeles times and The Chicago Defender, and boosts to our special collections and humanities database offerings.
  • As part of the Libraries’ long-term goal of helping to change the expensive and therefore restrictive system of scholarly publication, we’ve set aside funds to support UO faculty to publish in open access journals.  These journals help combat the spiraling costs of commercial scholarly journals, which is one underlying cause of dwindling library collections.
  • Overall, the UO Libraries is well-supported by the UO campus.  For the last several years, the Provost has infused the Libraries’ budget to hold the line against serial cuts.  And while many university libraries only receive two to four percent of the campus “Education and General” budget (legislative appropriation plus tuition dollars plus research overhead), the UO Libraries receives over five percent.
  • We continue to work on improving our resource-sharing partnerships.  While we know that Summit and ILL can’t fill every need, we believe that quick, efficient sharing can help the whole academic community make best use of limited funds.  We’re already working closely with Oregon State University to share our materials in new, better ways, and we look forward to more creative partnerships in the region.

Comments from our users regarding technology:

Many survey participants expressed some frustration with computers and printing in the libraries.

"The computers are out of order too often. Almost 30% of them were out of order when I filled this out."

"The computers should be quicker."

"The printing setup at the Knight Library is extremely inadequate for the amount of students visiting there per day who must print things off."

Here is what our Library Systems Department staff have accomplished over the summer.

  • Purchased 68 new Windows computers.  Replaced all computers in Edmiston Classroom in Knight, which provides open access when classes are not being held.
  • Increased the number of workstations by 8; adding 3 in the Documents Center, 1 in Knight Learning Commons, and 4 in the Science Library.
  • Replaced the hard drives in the Windows computers with SSDs (solid state drives) to help improve the boot up time.
  • Migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7 as the operating system.
  • Reduced the boot up time for the Windows workstations from 4-5 minutes to approximately 1 minute.
  • Added 2 new printers in the Knight Library to reduce student wait time.
  • Change authentication so that students and faculty log in with their duckID.
  • Print jobs are now released with a duckID rather than a computer name.

Comments from our users regarding our physical space:

"The most disruptive issue I have with the library is that there is not enough tables for studying. Need more space."

"The biggest thing I would love to see changed is the availability of more study rooms for students. When I've tried to reserve study rooms, they've always been booked."

"The biggest problem I have with the library is not being able to find a place to study that has electric outlets for my laptop. There needs to be more study spaces and more outlets near them."

We are working to address these problems.  While we know we have not solved the space problems, we will continue to make progress.

  • Thanks to funding from a generous donor, and based on input from students on seating preferences, we added 20 new study tables and 15 new tablet-armed chairs.  We have placed these next to available and underutilized electrical outlets.
  • Last fall we added 80 power outlets to the Knight Library South Reading Room. This $115,000 project was funded half from a private donor and half from campus facilities. We will continue to add electrical outlets as funds permit, but it is very expensive.
  • We have unlocked more individual study rooms for "first come, first served" use. We are also looking into new software for reserving group study rooms to make booking easier.

For additional information, contact:

Nancy Slight-Gibney
Director, Library Resource Management & Assessment

    University of Oregon Libraries
    1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
    T: (541) 346-3053
    F: (541) 346-3485
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