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NSU Libraries' Student Survey 2016: OCL

Survey Summary

A total of 62 respondents completed the Oceanographic Campus Library version of the NSU Libraries' Student Survey of 2016.  The Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography (HCNSO) Oceanographic Campus program currently has approximately 250 enrolled students, which means that we had a 24.8% response rate from HCNSO Oceanographic Campus students to this survey. 

Overall, the survey responses were very positive in regards to the Oceanographic Campus Library. Areas that the library received the most positive responses were related to staff, space, and resources.  

  • Students indicated that this library provides them with the appropriate resources to be successful in school.  They also indicated that they were satisfied with all the library services and resources mentioned in the survey, with in person assistance having the highest satisfied rating of all the categories listed with 93.55%.  
  • When asked what they most liked about the Oceanographic Campus Library, the majority of the responses were the library staff, especially their friendliness, helpfulness, approachability, and their knowledge of the subjects areas and resources.  
  • The students also liked the library space and the hardware/software provided to them in the library.  
  • When asked what they disliked about the library, most students replied that there was nothing they disliked.  

Areas for improvement that came to light during the survey include searchability of online resources, library hours, and library space/noise.  

  • The Oceanographic Campus Library will continue to work with the NSU Libraries' Web Steering Committee and Usability Group to ensure that the library website is ADA compliant, mobile friendly, and search optimized.  Many students would like to see federated searching where they can search all library resources from one search box, but unfortunately that is not feasible due to the many vendors that we work with to provide library resources.  
  • Many students indicated that they would like to see longer library hours from this library.  In an effort to address this request, which has come up in the past, we tried extended hours at night after classes and on Sundays when we are normally closed.  After 1 year of this service, we reviewed the statistics and decided it was not a service that was being used and discontinued the extended hours each term.  
  • In regards to library space, prior to the survey, we created a new quiet study area in the back which added 3 additional seats and a long table as well as moving some seating from the front of the library to the back, which was well received and mentioned in the comments of the survey.  After this survey, we added 1 additional table and 2 chairs to the library to continue to address this area of concern.  Unfortunately there is nowhere else to add anymore furniture at this time.  
  • Additionally, many students mentioned how distracting the library sliding doors are. These doors work on a sensor and open anytime someone walks past the library.  We were able to lower the sensitivity of the sensor so that someone walking on the far side of the hallway no longer triggers a door opening.  We are also looking into disabling the automatic sliding doors and installing an manual button to open them in order to further reduce the amount of door openings. 

The students that responded to the survey indicated that they split their time between the main campus Alvin Sherman Library and the Oceanographic Campus Library, with the choice of library relying mainly on the convenience of the location to where they work, live, or happen to be at the time.  The one thing that was mentioned that the Sherman Library offers that the Oceanographic Campus Library does not is study rooms. 

Some areas that need better advertising in order to communicate services that were requested in the survey, but are already in place, include an online form for Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests and the ability to place holds/request items from the main campus library to be delivered to the Oceanographic Campus Library. 

Please see below for a summary of the survey questions for more information.


  1. Question 1: When you are at the library, how often do you engage in the following?
    • More than 1x per week = use of own electronic device
    • Once a week = use library computers or search for items or use copiers/scanners
  2. Question 2: What can the library do to provide a more comfortable and useful space?
    • Improvement comments asked for more large desk for working space and cubicles. 
      • Prior to the survey, we created a new quiet study area in the back that added 3 additional seats and a long table, which was well received and mentioned in the comments.
      • After the survey, we added 1 additional table and 2 chairs to the library. 
      • Unfortunately there is nowhere else to add anymore furniture at this time. 
    • Other improvement that we were already aware of is the sliding doors that open anytime someone walks by the library in the hallway outside, which is distracting.
      • We were able to lower the sensitivity of the sensor.  We are also looking into disabling the automatic sliding doors and installing an manual button to open them to reduce the amount of door openings. 
    • Most comments were very positive that they are pleased with the library space as is.
  3. Question 3: Does the Oceanographic Campus Library provide you with appropriate resources to be successful in school? If not, please let us know what would be helpful.
    • Almost all responses were YES - the library provides you with the appropriate resources for success.
    • Concerns included federated searching of all library resources (like Google), requests for ILL/holds services (which are already in place), and mobile compatibility of NovaCat catalog search page.
  4. Question 4: How important it is for the library to focus on each of these areas?
    • Very important = an easier or more effective way to find full text journal information after finding a citation
    • Very important = increased digital access to unique or rare primary source materials
    • Very important = an easier way to search the main catalog and various article databases
    • Not important = functional and aesthetic improvements to library study spaces
  5. Question 5: What factors would influence you to use the library more?
    • Highest rated include (in order of highest to lowest rating):
      • class assignments
      • Group study
      • professor/advisor/chair
      • quiet study
      • colleagues/classmates
  6. Question 6: Please rate the following: 
    • Overall, respondents were Satisfied with all library services and resources listed.  
    • Assistance - In person was highest rated with 93.55% of respondents indicating they were satisfied
    • Only 3 categories received some dissatisfied responses:
      • Library webpage had the most number of dissatisfied responses with 9.68%
        • not sure if they are referring to ASL or OCL page
      • Other categories were library instruction in your class with 1.61% and library subject/help guides with 1.61%
  7. Question 7: What do you LIKE about the Oceanographic Campus Library?
    • The most frequent answer here is the library staff! Their friendliness, helpfulness, approachability, and their knowledge of the subjects areas and resources.
    • They also enjoy the hardware and software available to them and the library space.
  8. Question 8: What do you DISLIKE about the Oceanographic Campus Library?
    • Most responses were NO - there is nothing they dislike!
    • The dislikes that were mentioned include: 
      • webpage and searching
      • sliding doors
      • size of library
      • study rooms
      • hours
        • We tried extended hours at night after classes and on Sundays when we are typically closed and had little to no use.  After 1 year of this service, we reviewed the statistics and decided it was not a service that was being used and discontinued the extended hours each term. 
  9. Question 9: Do you use any other library in person or online? (Check all that apply)
    • Alvin Sherman Library = 47.06%
    • Oceanographic Campus Library = 28.24%
    • I do not use another library = 16.47%
      • If you combine the last 2 above, that = 44.71% of respondents that only use the Oceanographic Campus Library. 
  10. Question 10: If you chose another library, please explain WHY you use that library.
    • Main campus is a more convenient location for many students due to classes, work, or housing.
    • The Alvin Sherman Library offers study rooms
  11. Question 11: Please choose your college:
    • Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography = 95.16%
  12. Question 12: Where do you attend classes?
    • Other - Oceanographic Campus = 88.41%