Survey Result 2003


During May 2003 the Library conducted its second survey to provide clients with an opportunity to again identify the key prioritised areas affecting their library experience.

A total of 1,249 respondents completed this year's survey, providing an increased response rate of 125% compared with the 2001 survey. The majority of returns were from undergraduates, with 15% of responses coming from postgraduates.

As the current average response rate across Australian university libraries is 1,100, it is very pleasing to see so many Library clients taking the time to provide us with valuable feedback. Thank you for participating in the survey (large 3.9MB file). Your individual comments, and the survey analysis, will assist us to review and further enhance our services.

The survey identified the 10 factors most important to Library clients as follows:

1. Library collection is adequate to my needs

2. A clear and useful Library catalogue

3. Information resources are easily accessed

4. Computing equipment is in working order

5. The number of library computing workstations

6. Photocopying and printing facilities

7. Library staff providing accurate information

8. Opening hours

9. Library staff providing quality service

10. Follow through on requests for information

From the '10 most important factors' listed above, clients indicated the following four factors where there is a need for us to improve our performance, in priority order:

1. Information resources are easily accessed

Each library ensures resources are shelved within 24 hours of being returned. The Library catalogue is instantly updated so that clients will know that materials have been returned and are either on the sorting shelves (for 'Just Returned' books), or within the collection.

Clients may borrow resources from, and return to, any campus library. Over 45,000 items are transferred around our campus libraries by courier each year, making each campus collection available to any client in any library.

All electronic journals are catalogued within Voyager, as well as being available via the Library home page under Electronic Resources, thus providing multiple access points to some 39,000 needed and required electronic journal titles.

We add to our collections over 30,000 books each year to support teaching, learning and research across the University. We understand however, that there is a greater need for more multiple copies of texts, and are working to ensure that your needs in this regard are met.

During 2002, our web page recorded over 10 million hits. We continuously monitor our electronic 'gateway' to ensure we maximise accessibility.

In Semester 1, 2003, over 13,000 clients participated in Library Skills sessions. These training sessions are designed to better equip clients identify and access library resources. The sessions are timetabled throughout the academic year in all campus libraries.

For 2004, we shall be further enhancing access to our electronic databases with a single search interface across multiple databases. We shall be seeking your response to this initiative when we release it.

2. Photocopying and printing facilities

We acknowledge that the quality and reliability of photocopiers in many libraries has deteriorated since late 2002. Many copiers have reached the end of their 'useful working life'.

The Library will update our copiers when the University tender for a sole provider or preferred suppliers is completed. The Library will continue to review service calls and copy quality until new equipment is installed.

Total photocopy volume across the libraries has decreased by 23% compared with January-June 2002, while printing volumes have increased by 103% during the same period. The increase in printing reflects the increasing number of materials available in electronic format.

Thus there is a decreasing requirement for access to photocopying machines with a concomitant increase in the requirement for access to printers. As a result all libraries now have two print stations, and by end September 2003, all libraries will have colour printing.

We continue to monitor photocopying and printing volumes in each campus library.

3. Library collection is adequate to my needs

The Library will spend over $7.6 million on resources in 2003. This figure compares very favourably with the resources budget allocation of a number of larger, older universities. However, we recognise that we will never be able to buy every item that our clients want.

We do purchase and process 100% of all available material cited on course outlines provided to the Library by academic staff. Increasingly, we are purchasing materials in electronic form to maximise accessibility within all libraries, and from home or office.

We constantly review loans statistics and work closely with academic staff to identify high demand items, purchasing additional copies where required. Our purchasing/delivery turnaround time is extremely fast with our overseas purchases received by airfreight and generally averaging 4 weeks. We do place high demand items into Reserve, or on 3 day loans, to maximise student access.

4. The number of Library computer workstations is adequate

Across the campus libraries, 232 computer workstations are available, either on open access or within a Training Room.

Each campus library ensures that the Training Room workstations are made available to students outside of scheduled Library training sessions, thereby maximising accessibility to all workstations.

During 2003, we will review the number of workstations in each library, in comparison to student numbers on each campus, to ensure maximum accessibility and utilisation.

How do we compare to the 2001 survey results?

When compared to other university libraries in 2001, The Library was placed in the 4th quartile. In 2003, we are now ranked in the 2nd quartile, indicating a significant overall improvement in services.

In 2003, 44% of clients identified the quality of the Library as extremely high compared to 22% of clients responding in 2001.

In 2003, 3% of clients identified the quality of the Library as extremely poor, compared to 14% of clients responding in 2001.

Rodski note "the performance results across the majority of questions have improved substantially since the previous survey in 2001".

To access the full survey(3.9MB), click here.

August 14, 2003
Mark Norman, Acting University Librarian