CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Faculty and Student Assessment of the CITADEL Library User Services

Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science

Department

Center for Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Thomas W. MacFarland

Committee Member

Patricia B. Kistemacher

Abstract

The focus of the study was a survey of faculty and student use/needs of library services and user education at Daniel Library, The citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. More specifically, the study sought to determine user information needs and how the library staff should adapt for meeting the educational and research needs of its clientele.

Data were collected in separate questionnaires for testing three multi-part null hypotheses with one-way ANOVA. The student survey was pilot tested in spring, 1991. The population of the study was 141 faculty and 284 students. Means, responses in percentages, and one-way analysis of variance with Scheffe post hoc comparisons were used to test the hypotheses and to analyze the findings. To test Hypothesis I faculty responses were divided by three subject area groups (social sciences, humanities, and sciences) for nine individual one-way ANOVAs on library use and value.

To test Hypothesis II student responses were divided by three subject area groups (social sciences, humanities, and sciences) for 19 individual one-way ANOVAs on library use and value. To test Hypothesis III student responses divided by class standing (lower-level undergraduates, upper-level undergraduates, and graduate students) for 25 individual oneway ANOVAs on information needs and user education.

Faculty responses by clusters differed on five of nine items tested. For four items on resources purchases when budgets are cut, journals were very important to all faculty respondents, while sciences respondents saw media purchases less important than all other faculties and humanities respondents saw library book holdings relatively more important than other disciplines. Sciences faculties differed significantly with all other faculties on two of five items testing faculty encouragement of students to use the library for specified assignments (the critical thought paper; the research paper or prospectus). Sciences faculties differed with social sciences faculties on the encouragement of students to use the library for a book or journal review assignment. Seventy percent of the faculty responded "adequate" or "more adequate" on whether library holdings were adequate to produce quality project assignments.

All student responses tested for r coefficients showed no systematic correlation for the number of courses taken in fall, 1991 and the number of courses requiring use of the library. Student responses by clusters differed on 8 of 19 items tested. Based on frequency of responses, student highest frequency of "most frequent" reason to use the library was to check out books. Findings supported differences between student clusters that respondents of the sciences used the library less than respondents of other disciplines. Mean totals for all sciences respondents were lower for all assignments except gathering and interpreting data.

Testing of groups divided by class standing showed no differences in student perception for 18 of 25 items on information need and library instruction. Students perceived a need for information, but not that they needed information help. More than 40.8 percent of all respondents "strongly agree" that acquiring information was important to their coursework and/or job performance and 71.1 percent responded "higher" or "highest" degree that they were able to determine on their own the value or relevance of a source to their research task. All groups showed no differences in their perception of finding what they needed in the library because of their research ability, their luck, or their urgent need to find information. However, results indicated that graduate student respondents saw reading reviews, reading journals in your field, and reading journals in other fields significantly more important than undergraduate’s students in gathering information for classes, while graduate students saw using abstracts and indexes significantly more important than juniors and seniors.

ANOVA results on five of the seven methods of finding information were not significant. Undergraduate students valued assistance with determining the value or relevance of a source. The pattern of responses and ANOVA findings suggested that all students have an expressed need for use instruction assistance and a decided preference for "help as needed from a reference librarian" as the instruction method. The study showed the discipline (social sciences, humanities, or sciences) in which the students were enrolled proved to be a significant factor in their perception of library use and value. The class standing of students (lower level undergraduate, upper- level undergraduate and graduate) was not a significant factor in the student’s perception of information need and library instruction. Twelve recommendations were made for improving the citadel Library's service and user education mission based on this investigation.

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