Saturday, March 08, 2008

How are we doing?

Since the beginning of the semester we have invited our users (at least our users of the physical building) to complete a traditional comment card. The card includes two questions with Lickert scales ("How did we treat you today?" On a four point scale from 4, outstanding, to 1, terrible and "Did you get what you needed today?" On a three point scale from 3, everything, to 1, nothing.) On average, in answer to the question, "How did we treat you today?" we score a 3.2 (closer to good than outstanding.) In answer to the questions "Did you get what you needed today?" we score a 2.4 (between "everything" and "something.")

The meat of the card though is the invitation to add any comments our users want to make. I have already copied these responses to everyone in the library. I want to add them here and respond to each comment. I am also going to ask Paul to put these in rotation on the plasma screen in the atrium of the library. I think it is important that we show our users that we value their comments by actually responding. When the comments are about a similar issue I have grouped them together. I have also removed the names and titles of library personnel noted in the comments (both positively and negatively) and also users' e-mail addresses. In each of these cases the specific comment has already been shared with the person mentioned and with their supervisor. So here goes. The comments are italicized, my responses are not.

"How is it two weeks into the semester and the 24 hr lab is still not open? Don't we pay close to $50,000 a year in tuition?" "OPEN THE 24 HOUR LAB PLEASE !! :O(" "Please stay open more often - Thanks!" "I have lots of work and it would be great if the library was open Friday and Saturday nights." "stay open on Friday and Saturday nights." "It is so, so, so frustrating that on the weekends you guys open at 11 and that is too late. I get up and the earliest I can eat breakfast is 9 am. Then there is an awkward 2 hour gap I can't do any work. I feel for library staff in the a.m.. One solution is to be open 24/7. I see no reason not to be open 24/7." "Why aren't you open on Saturday nights?" "Can you stay open Saturday nights?" "The library/24 hour lab needs to stay open for Saturday nights and Friday nights. I like having a quiet place to do homework and study." "Please stay open later on weekends."

Response: I am delighted to be able to say that we heard you loud and clear. Information technology has extended the hours of the late Night Lab in the Olin Library until midnight on both Friday and Saturday nights throughout the semester. Every other day it is open 24/7. We will also be opening the whole library 24 hours a day for the week before and the week of exams. Also, if you crave quiet study space through the night, the Provost has started a program that allows any Rollins student to request that a classroom be opened for them 24/7. All you have to do is ask, by calling Campus Safety at ext. 2999.

Good Service: "Comments: Every time I call on or come by, someone with a smile is always willing to help me. Thank you!!" " I appreciate the great service!" "I have been coming to the library to study and check out books for quite a while. The ladies at the front desk at night are extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. I love the atmosphere. Thanks to all!" "Great staff" "I would like to say that **** was especially helpful at the front desk and I really appreciate it!" "**** is wonderful, excellent!"

Response: High quality service is our highest priority. I am glad to see you appreciate it. Thanks for letting us know, I immediately discuss the comments that we can link to a specific employee or department with the people involved immediately.

Bad Service: "In general, this library does not have a service attitude. Patrons are often treated like an annoyance or a disruption." "****, the ****, is rude and talks to students in an inappropriate manner." "The people are very unfriendly, need work on people skills."

Response: Personally, these are the most painful comments we receive. Rest assured when we can link these comments to a specific employee or department, I discuss them with the people involved immediately. We have changed many policies over the last 18 months in a effort to improve service and we are currently working on strengthening our personnel review procedures so that we can deal with these problems effectively and help all our personnel provide high quality, consistent, service to everyone. Please keep letting us know if we don't meet your standards. the more specific you can be the better.

Books: "you need a bigger selection of books (fiction.)"

Response: It is great to hear from someone who still likes to crack open a good book. If you mean the rotating collection of bestsellers that we shelve in the lobby, titles in that collection change frequently, so I hope you keep checking. You can also always let us know if you want us to get a specific title. But don't forget that we also have a lot more works of fiction up on the 4th floor. These are the books we own. You will generally find them in the P's on the 4th floor. But we also have a large selection of science fiction on that floor as well. Again, let me know if you want something and we will do what we can to get hold of it. Also don't forget your local public library.

Noise: "I wish the team members would not talk so loud when students are trying to read."

Response: I passed this comment on to all the staff at all service desks as soon as we got it. Thanks for reminding us that our workplace is your study space. Remember that the 3rd and 4th floors are designated as quiet study areas, while the 1st and 2nd are for group study. Find a quiet spot upstairs if you find the main floor too noisy. My favorite is the Tower Room.

Bookmark Café: "It would be great if the bookmark café opened earlier on Sundays and carried some supplies i.e. highlighters, pens, pads of paper, index cards etc. We have been working and exhausted our supplies and had to leave campus to find and buy supplies. Thank you!"

Response: The Café has gradually been extending its hours of operation and the range of food and drinks it sells. Personally, I would like it to be open all the hours that the Library is, but I understand the need for them to work efficiently and, based on how much revenue the Café generates, it doesn't make much sense for it to be open those hours. Sorry, but the Cornell Dining Center is open, as is 7-Eleven for supplies. I have passed your suggestion on to Dining Services.

Bikes: "The library needs a second bike rack out front."

Response: As someone who bikes to work every day, I agree. I have passed your suggestion on to Facilities Services. I also have a suggestion of my own. At least one bike has been parked in our bike rack since December. Share the road guys! Don't take up space you don't need.

Cables: "I almost tripped over one of the cables powering a laptop being used in the area beside the teaching lab. Would it be possible to have outlets on the same side as the chairs?"

Response: Power for laptops is a big problem in libraries built before 2000. The Olin Library opened in 1985 well before we saw the advent of wireless access and students with laptops. As we renovate space we definitely take this issue into consideration (see all the outlets on the loggia as an example.) Power in the middle of rooms with concrete floors is even more of a problem. You can either hang it from the ceiling (which only fits certain industrial style aesthetics) or drill from below, which is not always possible. I have come to realize two things: first, you can never have enough power outlets and second, they will always be in the wrong place!

Bathrooms: "Bathrooms are over-scented."

Response: Hey, it is better than the alternative! Seriously though, I have passed this comment on to our custodial staff.

So keep those comments coming. I hope you can see we read them all and they do make a difference. Thanks.

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