Computer Survey Results: More Please!

Last Fall, we surveyed students about their computer use in the CSN libraries. We wanted to know what they use library computers for, how hard it is to find an available computer, and what we can do to improve access. Here’s what we learned:

The top five reasons students used a library computer were:

  1. completing class assignments
  2. printing
  3. checking Canvas
  4. writing a paper/preparing a presentation
  5. studying for a test/quiz

When we look at how these activities relate to each other, we see that checking Canvas is a hub for all five activities. Printing, in contrast, is only statistically connected with checking Canvas, indicating that most students who print come to a library for that purpose. We also found that students who used social media or played a game generally were doing these activities as their computer use focus, not in conjunction with academic work.

Students usually could find a computer to use; however, access varied by campus and time. Noon to 4 pm at Charleston was the most difficult, while North Las Vegas after 4 pm was the easiest. Comments helped us to better understand these results. We found that at Charleston, students wanted not just more computers, but also adequate space to use their own laptops.

We also asked students what to prioritize in purchasing new computer-related resources. Desktops was the most popular response, followed by places to plug in laptops. The campuses were quite different in their responses. At Henderson, over half of the responses requested outlets, while at North Las Vegas the emphasis was lopsided for desktops.

We were happy to see that, without any prompt, students also showed their appreciation, with quite a few comments praising library staff and services. A few of our favorite quotes are:

“This CSN Library is the best place for me to concentrate! Wouldn’t change anything, Everyone’s extremely helpful.”

“I find the library to be my favorite place”

“Thanks! Ya’ll the bomb J”

Finally, as you can see in the Wordle image of the comments from this survey, students want “more” of many things, including space, computers, group study rooms, quiet study areas, service hours, and furniture. Viewed together with the positive comments, our takeaway is that students want more of a good thing.