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Identifying the needs and usage habits of university study room users

Alice B. Ruleman (James C. Kirkpatrick Library, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA)
Anthony Kaiser (University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Issue publication date: 10 July 2017




Study rooms are recognized as a popular feature in academic libraries. The purpose of this paper is to understand how students use the study rooms at the library of the University of Central Missouri.


A short survey was given to students who checked out study rooms keys. Students were asked how they used the rooms and what technology they used in the rooms. In total, 341 valid surveys were returned for analysis.


Students used the rooms mainly for academic reasons. In total, 73 percent of respondents frequently studied alone in the rooms while 56 percent frequently studied in groups. Use of the technology in the rooms, other than the computers (89 percent) was limited.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the voluntary nature of the surveys, results may not be applicable to all study room users. The researchers were particularly interested in the international students but demographic data from the survey indicated that the number of responses from this group may not be representative of the number that are actually using the rooms.

Practical implications

Students indicated they rarely used peripheral equipment, i.e. webcams and microphones, and the library removed them from the rooms and made them available at the circulation desk.


The authors found little research specific to the use of study rooms although available research of library space in general indicated study rooms are highly valued. The findings of this survey suggest that students may be more interested in individual/private spaces for academic work than “group” study rooms.



Ruleman, A.B. and Kaiser, A. (2017), "Identifying the needs and usage habits of university study room users", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 137-147.



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