The California State University Library successfully improved its library’s hours, including introducing 24-hour access, thanks in part to an assessment process that helped the University Library to develop a partnership with the students. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
In order to understand the need for expanded operational hours, students’ were surveyed on their satisfaction with current library hours, suggestions on how best to meet their actual hour needs, and interest in 24-hour access. Efforts to solicit student input included involving the student government in promoting the survey and reviewing its results, a decision that later had a major impact on the success of the project.
The survey identified days with problematic hours and which hours student suggested changes to that would best fit most students’ needs. In response to the findings, the library immediately implemented incremental changes that fit within current library resources. The survey’s most significant finding was that 94 percent of students wanted 24-hour study in the library.
An unexpected benefit of the library making immediate, incremental changes was that students could see the results of their input and feel a sense of ownership. The findings also led to the library making 24-hour access a top priority. When university funding was not available, the university’s student government approached the library with a unique proposal to include funding for 24-hour library access in their proposed student fee increase. The student body showed its willingness to invest in the library by passing the fee increase. California State University San Marco’s library began 24/5 hours in Fall 2017.
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