RLI 277 15 Keeping the Doors Open: Exploring 24-Hour Library Access at Washington University in St. Louis Sarah Laaker, Circulation Librarian, Washington University in St. Louis Libraries Eremains essential to many patrons. Students responding to ourven as electronic resources become increasingly important toacademic library users, access to libraries’ physical spaces also Service Quality Survey in November 2010 sent this message to the libraries at Washington University in St. Louis.1 Survey data shows that 72% of undergraduate respondents and 52% of graduate respondents visited the library at least once per week. Fewer than 2% of undergraduates and fewer than 3% of graduates reported never entering the physical library. Furthermore, undergraduate and graduate respondents alike expressed a need for Olin Library, the main library of the Washington University Library System, to expand its hours. While some students asked us to expand our hours on particular days of the week, many students told us emphatically to keep the library open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their requests inspired our library to gather additional data about late-night and all-night library usage and to explore how we might begin to meet our students’ expressed need for 24/7 library access. Washington University Libraries’ Service Quality Survey Every three years, the libraries distribute an electronic survey to faculty and students to assess the quality of library service based on user expectations and to identify areas for improvement. Two main areas of the November 2010 Service Quality Survey revealed our students’—and especially our undergraduates’—desire for extended hours in the libraries. Item 7 of the survey stated: DECEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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