Cristal Hermosillo: Library User Interviews

This week I interviewed 3 Freshman of various majors and 1 staff members from different departments.

1. Freshman: Management and Music Major

The first person I interviewed is a freshmen in the college of Management and College of Art and Science. They are a double major Management and Music. They go to the library at least twice a week, but has only rented a book once.The book rented was for two weeks and took 25 minutes to find, with multiple people help. They often uses computers and the first floor for homework but for exams ventures to the upper levels for a quiet space to study. They have gotten lost multiple times when going to the bathroom on the 3rd floor and base floor. Though overall they classified themselves as a less than average user of the library. Get’s lost often.

When finding a book. Task list:

  • Go online
  • get reference number and write it name
  • go to the front desk to make sure it has been shelved
  • go map
  • go to floor
  • attempt to find it

2. Freshman: Biology Major

The second person I interviewed is a freshmen in the College of Art and Sciences majoring in Biology. They go to the library 3 days a week (on a good week) 1/2 days on a bad week, though they have never rented out a book because they have never needed to. They do love looking around the library and finding new spots and thus classified them self as an average library user because of how many time they visit and venture. They use have used to use the TLC when it was located on the 3rd floor. The did mention that they did not know how to find a book reference number.

3. Freshman: Accounting and Management

The third person i interviewed is a freshman in the College of Management, majoring in accounting and management. They goes to the library 4 days a week. They have rented out a book once and it took them 45 minutes to find it. Also loves finding new spot in library and classified themselves as an average library user because of how many time they visit and venture. They have used to use the tech desk, TLC when it was located on the 3rd floor, and help desk. They did know how to find a book reference number, but found it annoying to look it up write it down and not know what floor it was on. They have gotten lost in the Library, took them 25 minutes to find there way back, no help from the map or people, but would have love to have a map with them.

Professor: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Because of how busy this professor was i was unable to get a personal interview with them, but i do know they have a fondness to libraries. They find the library very helpful and useful. Has rented our books over the years, but with 30 years of experience they found it with no trouble and classify themselves as an above average user. They have gotten lost but enjoyed it. They also found the help desk very helpful.

  • Goes to the library two or three times a year
Does find book themselves. Not sure why the phrase ‘have to look for the book myself’ is used — that’s part of the pleasure of using a library and why I am glad we have open stacks!
  • Takes a few minutes usually to find a book
I know where different areas of the library are. I sometimes take longer if it’s in an area I don’t usually go to or it’s a book that’s oversize and I didn’t notice that.
  • reserves books for students maybe once a year / far less than than they used too
  • Believes the system is fine
  • Has gotten lost once or twice. and the maps were helpful.

Q: Have you faced any issues when finding book ? (Please use details)

  • not that I can think of, except that oversize is somewhere else and sometimes the order of the numbers is not intuitive. I do worry that the library has a tendency to deaccession (books and other materials), so I like to buy books for my own library that are important to me.
  • above average — 30 years of library research experience
Qualities:mostly it’s experience (knowing where things are) and curiosity (looking at books in the shelves that aren’t the ones that I am searching for — I always see what the ref #s are for books in the area I am researching and then go look at the books in that area).
I should also say that I maintain my own library in my research field and buy books in that area because my field of research is very specialized and I don’t feel like the library needs to acquire them. That keeps me from going to the library as often as I used to. Also ILL acquires articles for me and sends them to me as pdfs, so I do much of my research online these days.

Actions to get a book:

  • go online and get the ref #
  • go to the stacks and find the book
  • look around at the books near the one they are looking for to see what else there might be on the subject
  • look at the table of contents of the book I am looking for to see if it has what I need
  • check it out.


How might we fix the problem of getting lost in the library?

How might we allow a more stream line process from getting the reference number to getting the book?

How might we help freshmen navigating this new space and use it more

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