Library Survey Shows Happy Patrons
Survey affirms University Libraries’ significance to campus
Last spring, University Libraries administered the “Measuring Information Service Outcomes Survey,” commonly known as the MISO Survey.
MISO Survey is a nationally administered survey, specifically designed to assess satisfaction of IT and Library services on college campuses. It is known as one of the top institutional survey devices, specifically for its comparative data and strong response rate. MISO asks a variety of questions, but the majority concern patrons' perceptions of importance and satisfaction with University Library services.
What resulted was a comprehensive evaluation of the University Libraries. Surveys went out to four populations: undergraduates, graduate students, staff and academic faculty. We’re excited to report that all populations rated Library Services highly. High rankings applied to questions measuring importance and also questions assessing satisfaction with library services. Whether it be our collections, spaces, or services, patrons recognized the library as an important contribution to not only academic needs, but also campus life.
Most importantly, all patron populations reported high levels of satisfaction with our services. In the case of undergrads, low-cost resources, online resources, and quiet work spaces rated as their most important services. Graduate students also rated these services as their most important. In fact, when asked about the importance of the library, graduate students consistently rated services high importance, more so than any other survey group! MISO confirmed many of the priorities we know about the University of Nevada, Reno: excellence in research, the strength of our educational experiences, integration of cutting-edge technologies, and commitment to supporting our region.
While pleased with the results, University Libraries continues to work hard to ensure our role for patrons. As a service provider, our units regularly assess the effectiveness of our services. Our grounded, considered approaches enable us to proactively meet the needs of our patrons. Whether that be legacy preservation during our incorporation of Prim Library, our continued expansions of library collections, securing grants to preserve our region’s cultural memory or our admission into the Greater Western Library Alliance, MISO reiterated many of our priorities, priorities which ensure we stay attuned to students, faculty and community members who rely on us.
As echoed by the University leadership, MISO further affirmed the University Libraries’ commitment to increase access and reduce the costs of textbooks and course materials. We will continue to advocate and lead the University in lowering costs, spurred on by our satisfaction and importance data for free or low-cost course textbooks and services. While it could be expected students place supreme importance on these materials, we were pleased to see faculty also reported cost reduction as a high priority. While we pride ourselves as a connected and conscientious unit, we were honored to see patrons viewed our staff as friendly, reliable, responsive, and knowledgeable. Along with lowering costs, University Libraries continues to expand the resources that are accessible online, off campus, or in alternative formats–another high-ranking priority for survey respondents. We do so in line with University technology initiatives, leveraging Digital Wolfpack Initiative, University strategic plan, and the hard work of other units on campus.
So what’s next? Our library continues to analyze the survey results. First, among other items, we noticed significantly higher importance and satisfaction scores for our first-generation college students. We hope to contribute to a broader understanding of Academic Libraries and first-generation college students, we hope to get a better sense of why our students find us so important, and learn ways we can continue to improve our services. The library will also continue in efforts to best respond to high priorities of our patrons, such as our strong funding for the Open Educational Resources Grant Program, commitment to our physical spaces, and support for University researchers.
About the author
Teddy Stocking is the Business Librarian within the Research and Instruction Services Department of the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries. He served as a member of the Library’s MISO Administration Team, responsible for organizing, distributing and analyzing the survey.