Sunday, November 20, 2011

Library Assessment at the University of York

This summer I attended the “9th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services”. If library assessment is your thing I can highly recommend this conference.

One of the most informative presentations I attended was by Graham Stone from the University of Huddersfield. He was presenting some data from a recent study correlating library use with academic achievement. The fact that students at this university need to swipe their cards not only to use electronic resources and check out books but also to enter the library meant some great opportunities for data correlation. Their results of this study indicate that physical visits to the library are NOT correlated with academic achievement BUT e-resource use and book borrowing ARE. This was true across all disciplines. It seems that students need to do more than just hang out in the library for their grades to go up; they actually need to use the stuff that is on the shelves or in the databases too! Check out the rest of the presentations.

I also very much enjoyed my tour of the newly renovated York University Library. I never pass up the opportunity to check out snazzy new library furniture like this. They had bright red couches, modular tables and, something I particularly enjoyed, some very neat individual booths. With all this cool new furniture that is available for Libraries it made me wonder if a new article which reports that patrons prefer traditional library spaces were true. Could it really be that students prefer the heavy wooden tables and chairs in darkened spaces to the mini-booth, the bean bag chair and ample natural light? Or are they simply referring to an image they have in their heads of how they think libraries “should” be?

Here are some photos for you other library furniture junkies.

-Francine May

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