SPEC Kit 308: Graduate Student and Faculty Spaces and Services · 15
and graduate student meetings and targeted e-mail
announcements are also frequently used. On average,
libraries are using more than five marketing strate-
gies in combination, with a few institutions (5 of 40)
using all of the traditional methods included in the
survey. In addition to these methods, several institu-
tions also mentioned more innovative marketing
strategies, such as separate research commons Web
sites, plasma screens in a Faculty Commons, public
computer screen savers, office hours in departmental
offices, specific identification on building floorplans
and signage, receptions, and Facebook ads for grad
Statistics and Assessment
A surprising number of institutions (32%) do not keep
any statistics on graduate student and/or faculty use
of spaces and services. Of the institutions that do
keep track, most use one or more of the fairly tradi-
tional methods of quantifying library services, such
as session counts, head and gate counts, and ques-
tions answered. Only seven institutions reported
using Web or print comments, another traditional li-
brary method of gathering user feedback. Comments
revealed that at least six institutions monitor space
use by recording carrel and room bookings or access
cards issued. Two institutions record document de-
livery service use. One institution indicated that they
monitor grants received and another “statements in
Most libraries use some method for evaluating
faculty and graduate student satisfaction with their
spaces and services. A surprisingly low number (6 of
41 respondents) make no formal assessment efforts. A
large number (63%) participate in LibQUAL+®. Only
two institutions rely on LibQUAL+® alone; most use
it in conjunction with one or more additional meth-
ods of assessment. Most of the assessment methods
employed are voluntary and, other than LibQUAL+®,
solicit opinions from users rather than non-users of
library services. Most of the satisfaction measures in
use are qualitative and fairly traditional. Only one
institution indicated participation in a broad-based
research study.
Clearly, ARL libraries continue to experiment with
a variety of space and service models to support the
teaching, learning, and research needs of faculty and
graduate students on their campuses. The new mod-
els are being triggered by a variety of forces most
notably by explicit requests from graduate students
and, to a lesser extent, faculty themselves. Survey
respondents have adopted a variety of instruments
for gathering input into space and service design
but have, to date, relied fairly heavily on anecdotal
Many sites support a relatively traditional buf-
fet of spaces but have repackaged them in new
ways for this targeted population. Virtually all sites
provide the standard library spaces (e.g., study seat-
ing, lounge seating, and collaborative study), but in
many cases, have allocated discrete areas for their
faculty and graduate students. The non-traditional
offerings run the full gamut from fully-equipped
classrooms to 3D visualization spaces.
The service models also vary considerably. The
reported models feature a strong emphasis on tradi-
tional services (reference/research help, interlibrary
loan, etc.) but again reimaged to meet the distinct
needs of faculty and graduate students. The services
support a heavy emphasis on technology. A signifi-
cant number of ARL libraries are providing teach-
ing support services within their spaces. Few sites
are providing personal growth services (personal
counselling, dissertation completion support, writing
clinic, etc.) other than the traditional information
literacy sessions.
During this development phase, many sites are
adopting flexible approaches: spaces and services
are designed with faculty and graduate students in
mind but other populations are often allowed to
use them under some circumstances.
Sites report relationships with multiple partners
most often their campus computing unit and, to
a lesser extent, their faculty development/teaching
excellence office. The small number of sites reporting
relationships with other campus units (e.g., graduate
student development offices, writing centers, research
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