Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter



Library Assessment Update

Library Website Assessment & Changes

Over the past academic year the Library Web Assessment Group (WAG) solicited feedback regarding users' experience finding information using the Libraries' website. Based on a library staff survey and two focus groups with BC graduate and undergraduate students, WAG has identified the following themes and key points to address:

  • Organize the site to be task-oriented. For example, links might be worded as: “find books” or “find journal articles.”
  • Consolidate various links and categories.
  • Highlight the most heavily used resources and make them more accessible and visible.
  • Use language that is more user-friendly and less based on library jargon.
  • Consolidate the links that lead students to help (Ask a librarian, Contact Us, Subject Specialists), and present them at points of need.
  • Increase the size of the text and make the site more engaging with the use of graphics.


Before the Fall 2006 semester, the Office of Marketing Communications will introduce a new look to many Boston College websites, including the BC Libraries. The Libraries hope to take advantage of this transition to implement changes in response to these findings.



O'Neill Library Use Survey

In May, 2006 the O’Neill Reference conducted an informal onsite-survey to discover the reason users come to O’Neill Library. The goal was to gather information that would aid us in creating and designing future user services and spaces. While this was not a true scientific survey, the results are realistic and reflect some of the anecdotal data we had already collected.


Here are some of the results:

134 respondents:

76.1% (102) undergraduates.

18.7% (25) graduate students.

2.2% (3) Boston College faculty.

2.2% (3) non Boston College students.

.07% (1) Boston College administrator.

Why did they come to O’Neill? Multiple entries were allowed:

45% wanted quiet study.

30% needed to print.

30% checked their e-mail.

32% retrieved an item form the stacks.

28% sought reference and research assistance.

(65% did not bring a laptop with them.)

Clearly, users want to do a variety of things within the Library. We did not ask what they would like to do that they currently are not able to do in the Library. However, we know from previous work that users want desktop technologies integrated into the Library workstations, more group study rooms, comfortable seating, and more social learning spaces.



Questions, comments? Contact the BC Libraries Newsletter Review Board.
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