Section One: Returning Students INTRODUCTION At the request of the new University Librarian, Western's Office of Survey Research (OSR) and Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing (OIART) worked with the library's faculty and staff to conduct a series of surveys focusing on library resources and services. Drafts of this report were reviewed by library personnel and their comments and insights were extremely valuable. These surveys were intended to provide a base of information to help guide an in-depth assessment and planning effort aimed at improving Western's library. Indeed, "Western Washington University Libraries: Organizational Directions and Major Strategies: 1998- 2003" was published December 31, 1997, a strategic plan which utilized, among other sources of information, the findings found in this report. The library's strategic plan is available in hard copy through their main administrative offices, and on-line via the Western Libraries home page (http://lis.wwu.edu!screens/ mainmenu.html). During Fall quarter, 1996, surveys were conducted of faculty, administration/staff, returning undergraduate and graduate students, newly-entering undergraduate and graduate students, the library faculty and staff, and community library users. Section One of this report presents the find¬ ings of one of these surveys: returning undergraduate and graduate students. Section Two presents the findings from the survey of newly-entering students. Returning students completed an extensive survey, with questions concerning their use and evaluation of library holdings, facilities and services, and recommendations for changes to the library. This report summarizes basic findings from the returning student survey. Three notes of mention are: Students responding late in Fall quarter, 1996, were reflecting on their previous experiences at Western-during Spring, 1996, for some questions, and at any time as Western students for other questions. This timing has two important implications. First, we know from previous research at Western that Spring use of the library is considerably lighter than in other quarters. Second, the library use described in this report is no doubt somewhat out of date. Library technology is changing rapidly, as is students' access to computers with which to engage new library technology. The students in this survey are reporting on library use in Spring, 1996 and before. Two: Although Western's library system includes some satellite holdings, the largest being the music library, the great majority of use is of Wilson Library. For convenience of expression, this report adopts the convention of referring to "the Western library" while recognizing the existence of plural holdings. Three: This report is intended to provide information as background to strategic planning efforts by the library staff, faculty, and administration of Western. This creates a natural division of labor between this report and the planning bodies that will use it: this report provides concrete empirical observations with little comment, and planning bodies will interpret these and other observations within the WWU context, as a basis for planning recommendations. With this in mind, this report is written with a minimum of interpretation or discussion.
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Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Library surveys--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Academic libraries--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Statistics
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Western Washington University. Libraries--Statistics; Western Washington University. Libraries--Planning; Western Washington University--Students--Attitudes
Title of Series
Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 1998-05
Simpson, Carl; Clark, Linda D. (Linda Darlene); and McKinney, Gary (Gary Russell), "Western Washington University Library Survey Series, Fall 1996-97: Returning and Entering Students" (1998). Office of Survey Research. 602.