Now for our final post on the Student Satisfaction Survey. In addition to asking about the facility and website, we questioned students on their use of, and satisfaction with, the library’s Access Services and Research Services. Access Services include circulation, course reserves, and Interlibrary Loan/Borrow Direct. Research Services include the reference desk and research consultations. Overall, 50% of respondents use the Circulation Desk from a few times per month to a few times per week. An additional one-third uses the desk a few times per semester. Reference Desk use, of course, is less than that of circulation. 46% of respondents use reference from a few times per semester to a few times per month, while 6% use the desk quite frequently—from a few times per week to daily. Students are more likely to use reference as they progress through their law school careers with 35% of 1Ls never having used the desk, while only 12% of 3Ls report never using the desk. As expected, journal staff members use reference service more frequently than other students. Research consults, which are a more focused and time-intensive service, have been used by 1/3 of respondents.
Student satisfaction with Access Services is noteworthy. 90% of those who have used the Circulation Desk are mostly to very satisfied, 42% of users are very satisfied. 73% of those who have used course reserves, and 73% of those who have used Interlibrary Loan/Borrow direct are mostly to very satisfied. While more users of course reserve report being “mostly” satisfied as opposed to “very” satisfied, this is likely due to the availability constraints caused by high demand of certain items.
Student satisfaction with Research Services is similarly high. 78% of those who have used the reference desk are mostly to very satisfied with 35% reporting being “very” satisfied. Research consults are a big hit: 54% of students who have had a research consult are mostly satisfied, while an additional 38% are very satisfied. Most research consults were for either a class paper or a journal note the student was writing.
Comments on the core services, and the Law Library generally, were plentiful. The library is appreciative of both the very positive comments and the constructive ones. Representative responses to the question “What do you like most about the Law Library?” include:
- “The large amount of resources and the helpful staff.”
- “The librarians. Seriously, you guys are great.”
- “I enjoy interacting with the library staff. They have always been able to assist me with my research and to help me track down a source. Thank you.”
We also asked the question “What do you like least about the Law Library?” This yielded numerous constructive comments, which overwhelmingly focused on the physical plant. As noted previously, space and temperature issues featured prominently. Representative comments on service issues include:
- “There should be more transparency in the carrel assignment system.”
- “Not enough copies of core hornbooks on reserve.”
- “You should allow ILL/borrow direct for books which are on course reserve.”
The library really appreciates these comments as they flesh out the numerical ratings and help us to prioritize items that need to be addressed. The comments regarding course reserve comport with the numerical ratings. These comments will assist both Access Services and Collection Development personnel in making decisions to improve the student experience.
Finally, to gauge interest in additional research services, we asked students “Would you be interested in attending one-hour research workshops presented by the library on a specific topic?” Three out of four indicated that they are somewhat to very interested in such workshops. Related comments were made in response to a question on what else the library should provide. These include:
- “More research trainings.”
- “I wish the librarians taught more for-credit classes on legal research, especially research for transactional law.”
Overall, the survey confirmed that students are quite pleased with the Law Library and the plethora of services the library provides. It also helped confirm that students do have facility-related issues with cold temperatures and limited space, especially group study space. The survey also highlighted areas within the direct control of the library that need to be addressed, specifically the carrel-assignment procedure, availability of course reserve materials, and the policing of noise and food.
The Law Library greatly appreciates all of those who took time to complete the survey. The feedback, both positive and constructive, is helpful in assessing what works and what does not, and in charting a course for the future. And congratulations to our prize winners: Joseph Pohlkamp (2L) won the reserved study carrel for next fall, and Lilian Balasanian (3L) won the $25 Cornell Store gift card. Awesome!