COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 21 January 2022, 8am (AEST)

Library Client Survey

2021 Client Survey Completed

The 2021 Client Survey has now completed. Results are being compiled before delivered to us for analysis. Return here for a summary of results and actions soon.

2018 Survey Results and Outcomes

In August/September 2018, Library and Information Services ran the JCU Library Client Survey. More than 2,400 people responded to the survey. We asked about research behaviours and how clients seek information. Respondents told us about their preferences, and it is encouraging to note that overall 76% research a topic by looking first for items in One Search (our discovery layer). 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, to identify priority areas for improvement. The 2018 overall satisfaction score was 5.8 out of 7 placing JCU in the top 30% when benchmarked against other Australian university libraries. The overall weighted performance score including all campuses and study centres was 81.6%, a 3.6% increase on the 2015 survey results. The weighted performance score, excluding Brisbane and Singapore campuses, was 81.1%, a 4.2% increase on the 2015 survey results.

What is most important?

The areas of highest importance to Library clients include access to wireless, online resources, One Search finding relevant resources quickly, off-campus access to resources and services, finding a quiet place in the Library to study, printing, copying and scanning, access to course-specific resources, online items being available when needed, and laptop facilities in the Library.

What do you think we do best?

You told us that our best areas of performance are wireless access, the performance of, and access to, Library staff, off campus access to library resources and services, the usefulness of online resources to your learning and research, printing/scanning, self-service options and our online enquiry services (like chat).

What has improved significantly since the last survey?

The actions taken in response to the 2015 survey have pleasingly resulted in improved scores in 2018. We have reduced the gap between importance and performance for all the targeted issues.

Excluding the results for Brisbane and Singapore (these libraries are not managed by Library and Information Services Directorate) we are performing near the top of the second quartile of Australian university libraries. The biggest improvement was in facilities and equipment (including wireless and computer access) which had an impressive 7% increase in satisfaction.

Identified areas for improvement

The good news is that there are no significant gaps between importance and performance. All the gaps identified in the 2015 survey have decreased. However, clients would like to see improvements in the following areas:

Finding a quiet place to study in the Library

  • 32% improvement over 2015 but has moved from second to first place in the gap analysis.

Online availability of resources

  • New to the top 10 gap list

Laptop facilities

  • 16% improvement, but has moved from fifth to third in gap ranking

Library web site navigation

  • 15% improvement, but has moved from seventh to fourth in gap ranking

Places for group work in the Library

  • 37% improvement and has dropped from third to fifth in the gap table

Library Client Comments

We received 1,563 comments, approximately 70% from undergraduate students. The comments have been analysed and grouped into themes. Below are the top 5 themes by campus.



Study environment (noise levels, ambience) (unfavourable feedback)


Laptop facilities (power, loans) (unfavourable feedback)


Operating hours (unfavourable feedback)


Group study facilities (rooms, booking) (unfavourable feedback)


Digital resources (e-journals, e-books, full-text) (unfavourable feedback)




Staff, customer service (favourable feedback)


Overall satisfaction (favourable feedback)


Study environment (noise levels, ambience) (unfavourable feedback)


Operating hours (unfavourable feedback)


Desks and seating (unfavourable feedback)


Course and subject specific resources (unfavourable feedback)




Space and crowding (unfavourable feedback)


Desks and seating (unfavourable feedback)


Study environment (noise levels, ambience) (unfavourable feedback)


Physical collection (books, journals, newspapers) (unfavourable feedback)


Course and subject specific resources (unfavourable feedback)


Behaviours (eating, drinking, sleeping) (unfavourable feedback)


Desktop computers (unfavourable feedback)




Course and subject specific resources (unfavourable feedback)


Desktop computers (unfavourable feedback)


Study environment (noise levels, ambience) (unfavourable feedback)


Staff, customer service (unfavourable feedback)


Staff, customer service (favourable feedback)


Overall satisfaction (favourable feedback)


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. 2,541 people told us about their preferences and it is encouraging to note that overall:

  • 77% research a topic by looking for items in One Search, up from 69%. This was followed by 71% using Google or another search engine to find relevant resources, up from 61%.

  • 73% prefer to ask Library staff for help in person, down from 78%, the preference for Chat has tripled since 2015 to 34% of respondents

  • 74% are most frustrated when journal articles are not available in full-text from the Library, down from 77%

  • 42% want to learn more Database Search Tips, overtaking EndNote (39%) as the area of most interest

  • 60% prefer to learn about Library services through our web site, overtaking email at 58%

Action Plan for the 2018 Library Client Survey Results

Cairns Campus and Eddie Koiki Mabo (Townsville) Libraries

You said

We did/Are doing

Quiet places to study in the Library

  • Updated signage and reconfigured spaces on 2nd floor in the Mabo library to promote silent study, and updated signage to promote study zones at Cairns Library

  • More vigilant monitoring of spaces in both the Cairns and Townsville libraries especially afterhours and weekends

  • Refurbishment on 2nd floor to provide more options for quiet work (in progress in Mabo Library)

Improve online availability of resources

  • Forced HTTPS on Summon, Find It, LibGuides and LibAnswers to prevent mixed content and other browser warnings and blocking

  • Embedded the Browzine API in One Search to give a quick link to a PDF where available

  • Changed the configuration of Find It to clearly display all options for online access

  • Embarked on data quality projects in Readings and the Library catalogue

  • Ability to pay library fines online (due Q4 2019)

More laptop facilities (i.e. desks with power options)

  • Purchase of 3 stand up desks with power suitable for laptop users (Mabo Library)

  • Power options added to 10 individual desks on 2nd floor (Mabo Library)

  • Soft power options added to new desks in student group study areas on 1st floor (Mabo Library)

  • Refurbished 1 PC lab in the Mabo library with new carpet, lights, furniture and extra laptop-ready desks on 2nd floor

Improve Library web site navigation

  • Launched the new Library home page with combo search tool

  • More use of accordion pages to reduce cognitive load and scrolling

  • Grouped services by type of user (student, researcher, academic)

  • Commenced site review/revamp May 2019

More places for group work in the Library

  • Mabo Library (Townsville)

    • Refurbished 1st floor student spaces with larger variety in seating/study options including power supplies to desks
    • Purchase of additional small group tables and chairs located on 1st floor of Mabo Library
  • Cairns

    • Refurbishment of study cubicles on first floor of Cairns Library

Operating hours

  • Cairns

    • Consistent opening time of 7.30am 7 days per week throughout the year
    • Consistent closing time of 12am 7 days per week in SP1 and SP2