2015 Library Client Survey Results

Making Your Library Better – Responding to Your Priorities

In May 2015, Library and Information Services ran the JCU Library Client Survey. More than 3,548 people took the opportunity to tell us what they think about their libraries, and 41% provided a total of 2,669 comments. We also asked about research behaviours and how clients seek information. 2,838 respondents told us about their preferences and it is encouraging to note that overall 67% research a topic by looking first for items in One Search. This was followed by using Google or another search engine to find relevant resources.

The survey results help Library and Information Services staff to identify what services and resources are most important to clients, how we are performing in the delivery of these services and resources, and identify priority areas for improvement. The 2015 overall satisfaction score was 5.76 out of 7 placing JCU in the top 50% when benchmarked against other Australian university libraries. The overall weighted performance score including all campuses and study centres was 79.5%, a 1.8% increase on the 2012 survey results. The weighted performance score, excluding Brisbane and Singapore campuses, was 80.5%, a 2.8% increase on the 2012 survey results.

New: Actions Taken

What is most important?

The areas of highest importance to Library clients include access to wireless, online resources, Library staff providing accurate answers to enquiries, being approachable and helpful, fair and non-discriminatory, and readily available to assist. Also in the top 10, off-campus access to resources and services, ease of use of One Search and the Library website, and being able to find a quiet place in the Library to study.

What do you think we do best?

You told us that the top 5 factors are the performance of Library staff and off campus access to library resources and services. Also in the top 10 are, face-to-face (Library InfoHelp) enquiry services, self-service facilities, online resources, InfoHelp Rovers and printing and copying facilities.

What has improved significantly since the last survey?

The actions taken in response to the 2012 survey have pleasingly resulted in improved scores in 2015. We have reduced the gap between importance and performance for all of the previously identified issues.

Excluding the results for Brisbane and Singapore (these libraries are not managed by Library and Information Services Directorate), we are performing at the benchmark median compared with other Australian university libraries. The Library performed highest on the category of Library staff with a score of 88.6%, an impressive improvement of 2.2% but the lowest score was for facilities and equipment.

Identified areas for improvement

The good news is that there are no significant gaps between importance and performance. However clients would like to see improvements in the following areas:

More computers, wireless access and facilities to use mobile devices

Slight improvements since the 2012 survey, however, availability of computers is still the number one lowest performing issue and wireless, ranked as the most important issue, is also a low performer.

Finding quiet places in the Library to study

A top ten issue in terms of importance. An issue in Cairns and Townsville, but more so in Townsville given the age and design of the building.

Finding places in the Library to work in groups

Similar to finding a quiet place, this is a significant issue especially in Townsville where there are very few group study rooms. As a result there are more complaints about the study environment including noise levels in Townsville.

Library Client Comments

We received 2,669 comments, approximately 70% from undergraduate students. Of the positive comments received 63% are about staff, client service and overall satisfaction with the Library. The majority of negative comments are about facilities and equipment. It is interesting to note that of the respondents who come onto campus 2-4 days per week, 89% come into the Library building while on campus, so it is extremely important to have a good facility with the appropriate equipment, environment and services.

James Cook University, compared to aggregated results from the other Australian university libraries that conducted a similar analysis, has received more negative comments from library clients about library facilities and equipment and in particular about the study environment in our libraries.

Aggregate Comparison CAUL v JCU Facilities and Equipment

Aggregate Comparison CAUL v JCU Study environment

The comments have been analysed and grouped into themes. Below are the top 5 themes by campus.

Townsville

532

Study environment (noise levels/ambience) (negative)

153

Overall satisfaction (positive)

128

Staff and customer service (positive)

96

Group study facilities (rooms/booking) (negative)

83

Computers (numbers/accessibility) (negative)

72

Cairns

317

Overall satisfaction (positive)

75

Staff and customer service (positive)

67

Computers (numbers/accessibility) (negative)

66

Wireless (access to internet) (negative)

51

Study environment (noise levels/ambience) (negative)

29

Opening hours (negative)

29

Singapore

105

Physical collection (books/journals/newspapers/magazines) (negative)

28

Space (crowding) (negative)

25

Computers (numbers/accessibility) (negative)

20

Course/subject specific resources (textbooks/reserve collection/short loans/exams) (negative)

18

Desks and seating (accessibility/ergonomics) (negative)

14

Brisbane

67

Loan periods (negative)

19

Physical collection (books/journals/newspapers/magazines) (negative)

15

Course/subject specific resources (textbooks/reserve collection/short loans/exams) (negative)

13

Study environment (noise levels/ambience) (negative)

10

Space (crowding) (negative)

10

Mackay

17

Staff and customer service (positive)

3

Remote help and support (phone/online) (negative)

2

Full-text access (e-journals/e-books) (negative)

2

Facilities and amenities (negative)

1

E-resources (e-journals/databases/e-books) (negative)

1

Referencing (negative)

1

Course/subject specific resources (textbooks/reserve collection/short loans/exams) (negative)

1

Space (crowding) (negative)

1

Study environment (noise levels/ambience) (negative)

1

Computers (numbers/accessibility) (negative)

1

Study environment (noise levels/ambience) (positive)

1

Library layout (design/functionality/refurbishments/renovations) (negative)

1

Library skills/orientation (tutorials/tours) (positive)

1

Townsville City Campus

16

Overall satisfaction (positive)

2

Study environment (noise levels/ambience) (negative)

2

Course/subject specific resources (textbooks/reserve collection/short loans/exams) (negative)

2

Group study facilities (rooms/booking) (negative)

2

Facilities and amenities (negative)

1

Staff numbers and availability (negative)

1

Physical collection (books/journals/newspapers/magazines) (negative)

1

Wireless (access to internet) (negative)

1

Equipment (hire/availability) (negative)

1

Loan periods (negative)

1

Air temperature/ventilation (negative)

1

Library layout (design/functionality/refurbishments/renovations) (negative)

1

Other

13

Service to external/distance students (positive)

4

Full-text access (e-journals/e-books) (negative)

3

Staff and customer service (positive)

2

Website (negative)

2

Communication/consultation (negative)

2

Mt Isa

2

Staff and customer service (positive)

2

Thursday Island

2

Service to external/distance students (negative)

1

Course/subject specific resources (textbooks/reserve collection/short loans/exams) (negative)

1

Research Behaviours

We asked you about your research behaviours and how you seek information. These results are available by type of client (undergraduate, postgraduate, staff, etc.), domestic and international student, College, campus, library and will assist Library and Information Services staff to refine our services. 2,838 people told us about their preferences and it is encouraging to note that overall:

  • 67% research a topic by looking for items in One Search. This was followed by 62% using Google or another search engine to find relevant resources.

  • 98% usually find what you need either by consulting Library staff or online help or guides (49%) or by yourselves (49%)

  • 63% consult other students when they are stuck and need help

  • 77% prefer to ask Library staff for help in person

  • 76% are most frustrated when journal articles are not available in full-text from the Library

  • 46% want to learn more about using Endnote

  • 62% prefer to learn about Library services via email

Next Steps

Library and Information Services staff are analysing all of the information received to identify and prioritise actions for improvement. We will report on all actions to be taken via the Library website and encourage you to check on our progress.

Questions?

Questions or comments can be sent to the Library suggestion box.

For more information see the Key Findings Report, Analysis of Verbatim Comments, and Information Behaviour Report.