2013 Faculty Survey


Survey report (PDF)

What is the 2013 Faculty Survey?

The 2013 Faculty Survey, which ran from January 31-February 18, 2013, continued the University of Chicago Library's annual survey program which targets, on a rotating basis, graduate students, undergraduate students, and the faculty. Over 2,000 coded comments in response to the 7 open-ended questions provided the Library with a wealth of positive feedback and areas for growth.

Who took the survey?

For the purposes of this survey, we defined 'faculty' as those with appointments classified as Faculty, Emeritus, PostDocs, and Other Academic Appointee. Library employees were excluded from this population.

  • Of the 3,701 individuals contacted for participation, 645 completed surveys, yielding an overall response rate of 17%.
  • By division, the highest response rates by population came from the Oriental Institute (38%), the Divinity School (34%), and the Humanities Division (33%).
  • By University status, the highest response rate by population came from those with Faculty status (24%), followed by PostDocs (15%), Emeritus (14%), and Other Academic Appointees (13%).

What did the survey cover?

The 12 question survey, designed by the Assessment Planning Team and based on previous annual surveys, covered:

  • Demographic information: age, primary University affiliation.
  • Collections: General satisfaction, preferences for print/electronic formats, recommendations for selection and digitization, comments/suggestions.
  • Library spaces: Use, adequacy for needs, comments/suggestions.
  • Library website and interfaces: Use, adequacy for needs, comments/suggestions.
  • Existing services: Use, adequacy for needs, comments/suggestions.
  • New services: interest in proposed services.
  • General feedback.

What did we learn from the 2013 survey?

  • 89% of respondents agreed with the following statement: "The Library's print and electronic collections are effective in meeting my research and teaching needs."
  • Our faculty expressed myriad nuanced and thoughtful criteria that will inform Library's process for making decisions between print and electronic formats. Responses were more consistent across discipline and age than expected.
  • Physical formats are considered easier to use, particularly for work practices requiring deep engagement with lengthy texts. Electronic formats are preferred for ease and immediacy of access. Respondents expressed strong concerns about the standardization, longevity and usability of ebook interfaces and platforms.
  • While many services received positive statements about use, the responses from users regarding the reference desk, Scan & Deliver, Library subject specialists, and the Library catalog were particularly noteworthy.
  • The many negative responses to Lens, as well as numerous comments regarding interface challenges in the current catalogs, provide support for the implementation of VuFind, currently scheduled for Winter 2014.
  • Respondents indicated interest in tools for citation management and sharing (46%), archiving of digital research (38%), and paging and delivery of materials between Library facilities (36%).

Assessment Planning Team members: Elizabeth Edwards, Assessment Librarian; David Larsen, Head of Access Services and Assessment; Benjamin Murphy, Head of Access Services; Gina Petersen, Human Resources Specialist; Margaret Schilt, Faculty Services Librarian; Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction and Outreach; and Andrea Twiss-Brooks; Co-Director, John Crerar Science Library.

With additional help from: David Bietila, Web Program Director; Jamie Carlstone, Continuing Resource Orders and Cataloging Supervisor; Laurie Haugland, John Crerar Library Technical Processing Supervisor; Anne Knafl, Religion and Philosophy Bibliographer; Tod Olson, Systems Librarian; Julie Piacentine, Reference Librarian and Instructional Specialist; S Valiant, Receiving and Rapid Cataloging Supervisor; and Marcus Wolfe, Assessment Assistant.