Library user survey 2015

In May 2015 Monash University Library ran its eighth biennial user survey online. Thank you to all the Monash students who participated. This is the first time that it was a student-only survey. The survey generated responses from 616 students in Australia. This sample size is much smaller than our previous surveys, however it still gives us a 95% confidence level, +/- 4%.

The anonymous responses have now been analysed and the results compared with previous survey results for Monash as well as with those of 38 other participating university libraries in Australia and New Zealand.

The Library recorded an overall performance score of 76.1%, slightly lower than 77.1% in the last survey. The Library performed highest on the category of Library staff, with a score of 85.6%. The lowest score was identified on Facilities and equipment at 67.4%. This has been a consistent trend over the past few surveys. In recognition of the need to improve Library facilities, the University has made the refurbishment of the Matheson and Caulfield Libraries a strategic priority.

The survey results allow us to identify the areas to prioritise in the coming years. By looking at where a statement was rated as high in importance but the Library's performance was rated low, we can see where users think we most need to improve.

How you rated us

  • Overall performance: 76.1% out of 100
  • Overall satisfaction: 5.19 out of 7

Where we performed best

  • Library staff
  • Wireless access
  • Self service options
  • Remote access to resources
  • Online resources

Where there is room for improvement

  • Computers
  • Quiet place to study
  • Place to work in a group
  • Laptop facilities
  • A good place to study

What new findings did we get from the survey?

For the first time the survey asked respondents about their best estimates of their academic results. The data was analysed to explore any correlation between their use of the Library and their academic results.

  • Among new or first-year students, 74% of domestic students and 73% of international students achieved at least a Distinction 
  • Among later-year students, 77% of domestic students and 57% of international students achieved at least a Distinction. 
  • 78.8% of all respondents who come in to the library daily or 2-4 days a week achieved at least a Distinction. 
  • 70.3% of respondents who access the Library online daily or 2-4 days a week achieved at least a Distinction.

The findings indicate a strong correlation, which will be considered again in future Library user surveys.

What are we going to do in response to the survey results?

  • "Matheson Library needs to have a re-layout, too many study desks are in one place so study areas are always prone to noise. Also all the libraries are severely lacking in group study rooms, especially with AV equipment." 
  •  "I am looking forward to the redevelopment of Caulfield Library, it's pretty overdue. The study facilities of the library (desks, computers, capacity) is the main frustration."

We will complete the refurbishment of the Matheson and Caulfield Libraries for Semester One 2017 to create modern, engaging and stimulating study spaces for quiet and group work. Matheson Library will have a 25% increase in seating, from 1419 to 1707 seats, from 7 to 23 bookable discussion rooms fitted with technology and from 3 to 4 state-of-the-art teaching rooms. Caulfield Library will have double its current seating, from 750 to 1500 seats, from 2 to 7 bookable discussion rooms fitted with technology and numerous group study areas, and from 2 to 4 state-of-the-art teaching rooms.

  • "Another thing that should really be improved is being able to print directly from our laptops to the print station. It's quite a pain once you've brought your laptop to uni and you've got multiple documents and webpages open that you want to print - to have to then wait for a library computer to be free which may take ages and then have to manually open up all the pages and documents on the library computer before pressing print which may take another 15-20 min."  
  • "Merge the lab printing and online payment with the library system. The loading of money on my student card always seems to be out of order or will not work. The library system seems to be out of order when I need to use it. The staff are helpful but the library system for printing is a letdown."

We will continue to work with eSolutions on improving printing, including enabling wireless printing so that students can print from their laptop or device. Wireless printing will lessen the need to use the student PCs.