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Rutgers University
Summary. New Brunswick Student Focus Groups, Spring 2008
The Rutgers University Libraries held three student focus groups in New Brunswick during
spring semester 2008. The impetus for having these groups was the desire of the current
Reference and Lobby Redesign Committee to know from students what kinds of spaces they
wanted in the library. There was also a desire to know from students their perceptions and desires
of reference service. In addition, the libraries have been seeking information from graduate
students about a possible redesign of the Graduate Reading Room. To this end we held three
focus groups: March 26 for undergraduates (two students) and one for graduate students (5
students); and April 23 for undergraduates. (eight students). Lila Fredenburg facilitated the
discussions; and Jeanne Boyle, Valeda Dent, and Françoise Puniello took notes.
The following questions directed the discussions:
1. We often hear that atmosphere is important for studying. What do you think is the ideal
atmosphere for individual study? Group Study?
2. What three things do you like most about the library? What three things do you like the
least about it?
3. What do you imagine being in the perfect university library?
4. What do you imagine the perfect graduate reading room looking like? What do you
imagine the perfect undergraduate study space?
5. What do you think is meant by reference service?
6. Do the services offered by the library meet your needs?
7. What would make reference service better?
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