SPEC Kit 308: Graduate Student and Faculty Spaces and Services · 17
Survey Questions and Responses
The SPEC survey on Graduate Student and Faculty Spaces and Services was designed by Vivian Lewis,
Associate University Librarian, Organizational Analysis, Planning & Accountability, and Cathy Moulder,
Director of Library Services, Maps, Data & GIS, McMaster University. These results are based on data
submitted by 65 of the 123 ARL member libraries (53%) by the deadline of May 2, 2008. The survey’s
introductory text and questions are reproduced below, followed by the response data and selected
comments from the respondents.
Over the last decade, research libraries have focused increasing attention on serving the needs of the undergraduate student.
In many cases, large collection areas have been converted into learning or information commons facilities—complete with vast
banks of public computers, collaborative study rooms, comfortable furnishings, and relaxed noise, food, and drink regulations.
Some have incorporated a wide spectrum of student-centered services, including writing centers, academic skills counselling,
tutoring services, and more.
In many cases, faculty and graduate students are welcome to use these spaces and services but are not considered the primary
customers. As faculty and graduate students observe these transformations, they are inspired to ask their libraries if the same
attention will be turned to their needs.
Recently, ARL libraries have begun to experiment with an enriched set of spaces and services to meet the complex teaching,
learning, and research needs of graduate students and faculty. Some libraries have introduced small sanctuaries (study rooms
or lounges) for graduate students and faculty as distinctly separate from undergraduate spaces. Others are providing new
suites of services like dissertation support, curriculum design, and learning object design. In some cases, the services are
offered in collaboration with other campus units—perhaps the Faculty Development Office, the Learning Technology Office, or
Campus Computing. The new services and spaces may be localized in a discrete area (sometimes called a “research commons”
or “faculty commons”) or opportunistically distributed across the library system.
This survey is designed to explore the variety of resources and services being delivered or envisioned specifically for faculty
and/or graduate students, the location(s) of service delivery, service point staffing, partners in service delivery, marketing of
services, and assessment of the use of these spaces and services.
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