How Does McGrath Library Stack Up?

by Amanda Figueroa

McGrath Library is supposed to be a place for the students of Hilbert College to relax and get their school work done. But, how popular is the library? How many students actually visit the library, and, if they do, for what purpose? What is the library doing to attract more patrons? The answers to these questions and more are answered by the students themselves.

When visiting the library, I talked to employee Amy Monk and asked her on average how many people have visited the library over the course of one week. She told me there was an average of 150 people who show up, for a variety of reasons.

I also addressed the rumor of a possible community room. Monk told me that there was the possibility of converting the old St. Bonaventure offices, however, she didn’t know for sure. She did instruct me to get in contact with Chris Hulsman if I had any additional questions.

I asked Hulsman on average how many books and other materials are checked out, and he said that there is an average of 1,000-2,000 books checked out each semester. There are also between 1,000 to 2,000 requests submitted through the interlibrary loan system.

Over the course of a five-day period, I asked a total of 50 students, ranging from freshman to seniors, a series of ten questions.

How often do you visit the library? 50% of the respondents said only if they had a class in there. The rest of the answers ranged from never to a few times a week. Very few said they visited every day.

How many hours in a day do you spend at the library? 60% of the answered that they spent little to no time at the library. The rest ranged from 1-2 hours, and 3-4 hours.

Are the librarians helpful? 70% of the respondents said yes.

What do you use the library for: using the computer, doing homework, checking out books, relaxing and reading, or going to class?  70% of the respondents listed using the computer.

Do you use the study room upstairs? Most of the respondents said they never used it.

What is your level of satisfaction with library services and online services that the library provides? Most the respondents were satisfied, with only a few who were dissatisfied. One such service that a few people were unsatisfied with was the use of the interlibrary loan system. Many students, particularly the freshman, didn’t know how it worked.

How would feel about the use of a community room? About half of the respondents said they would check it out, while the other half ranged from; depending on what is in the community room and not caring one way or another.

What could the library do that would increase the number of patrons? 70% of the respondents said, nothing needs to change, however quite a few students suggested more leisure books.

Overall, I was not surprised by the results of the survey. Most of the students I asked were satisfied with the library, so, even though the library may not be the most popular building on campus, it’s doing pretty all right for.

To learn more about McGrath Libray, the website.



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