Ithaka S+R is gearing up to update our local student surveys and we are now accepting expressions of interest from libraries to field the surveys in the spring 2020 semester. Our student surveys, which have been fielded at dozens of institutions since 2014, were developed to complement our local faculty survey. They cover the perspectives of undergraduate and graduate students on their objectives for pursuing higher education, their coursework activities, and their use and perceptions of the library. 

The surveys have helped libraries streamline access to information resources, develop services for important campus sub-groups, and communicate the value of the library towards student success objectives. In revising the instruments, we plan to continue with many of the existing areas of coverage while also including new areas that will enable libraries and their institutions to better understand and support student needs. We have a fantastic group of advisors guiding this work:

  • Steve Borrelli, Head of Library Assessment, Penn State University
  • Nicole Branch, Associate University Librarian for Learning & Engagement, Santa Clara University
  • Erin Daix, Director of Assessment, University of Delaware 
  • Elizabeth Edwards, Assessment Librarian, University of Chicago
  • Emily Guhde, Director of Library Assessment, Georgetown University
  • Selena Killick, Acting Associate Director in Library Services, The Open University
  • Patrick Labelle, Social Sciences Research Liaison Librarian, University of Ottawa
  • Ebony Magnus, Head of Belzberg Library, Simon Fraser University
  • Dorothy Meaney, Library Director, Tufts University
  • Christine Baker-Smith O’Malley, Managing Director and Director of Research, Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice
  • Maura Smale, Chief Librarian and Professor, New York City College of Technology

And, for the first time, we plan to provide all libraries that run the survey this spring with a report that places their results in context of the other participants’ anonymized results. Our goal is to build a cohort of 10-15 participants, allowing us to publish a public report of findings with the aggregate results.

We are currently in the process of speaking with each of our project advisors to gather their input on thematic areas of coverage. Over the coming months, we will be developing, iterating on, and testing a revised questionnaire, and we look forward to continuing to share updates on our progress. If you are interested in participating in the local surveys — student and/or faculty — in the upcoming academic year, please email me at

I also invite you to join me for a webinar on Thursday, October 3, at 2:00 pm EDT. I will be joined by two of our advisors, Steve Borrelli and Emily Guhde, who will discuss how they used the student survey results at their institutions.