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Students participate in LIU libraries’ yearlong study to create a better "library experience."


Lindsey Amparo,Writer
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Long Island University
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LIU Post Solangy PerezBrookville, NY – The libraries at Long Island University have launched a yearlong study in an effort to better tailor library services, spaces and resources to students' needs. The ethnographic study explores student habits, including use of spaces, resources, technology and relevant interactions with others through a series of interviews, observations and a survey.

The Fall 2012 survey covered a wide range of topics related to students' library use, technology use and schoolwork habits. The survey revealed that nearly 75 percent of survey takers had received some type of instruction on how to best utilize the library and its resources. Sixty percent of students reported that they use the libraries' website between 1 and 4 times per week, with nearly 30 percent of those linking to the libraries' website from MyLIU.

LIU Post Kristin EsbinThe study also showed that students use Google and the libraries' databases equally as resources to complete their work. Sixty-seven percent of students browse the libraries' website to find what they are looking for, as opposed to knowing exactly where things are. Also, the study showed that Safari was the search engine of choice, beating Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.

Sixty-four percent of students reported spending between 1 and 5 hours per day on the Web for research and school related activities, and 44 percent spent the same amount of time engaged in social networking activities—reporting that Facebook and Instagram were the top social networking sites.

Sixty-five percent of students who responded to the survey received an iPad as part of the LIU iPad initiative, and 84 percent of those students said they use their iPads in class or for class related work. Students also reported that they use their iPads to take notes, to view PowerPoint presentations posted by their professors, to access e-textbooks and to record lectures. When asked what kind of apps students had on their mobile or iPad devices, they revealed a wide range of apps, including Bible apps, banking apps, the Blackboard app, Angry Birds, YouTube, Facebook, dictionary apps, Dropbox and more. When asked which library apps would make their lives easier, students responded with a book check-out app, an app to search the libraries' databases, a study habits app, an article-finder app and more.

The results from the survey will be used by the libraries to focus on more user-friendly services and resources, and to create a better experience for students as they study and work on research assignments.

Students who took the survey were also entered into a drawing to win two brand new Apple MacBook Air computers. The libraries' study will run through 2013 and results from the study will be shared with the University community.

Posted 02/05/2013

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