University Libraries improvements much appreciated

Credit: Braden Kelner/Forum Editor Credit: Braden Kelner/Forum Editor

How much time do students spend in Hunt Library each year? Whatever the astronomically high number, it’s good to see that library staff care about improving the experience that students have when working within the libraries’ walls.

Carnegie Mellon University Libraries conducted a survey of students this semester, as well as last semester. Staff members asked for suggestions for improvement of the library’s services and availability.

University Libraries recently announced a long list of notable improvements via their website: Hunt Library will be open 24 hours a day as a trial run starting this Sunday through finals next semester, and plans are underway to improve the selection of healthy options at the Maggie Murph Café. The library website itself has been redesigned, and 2,954 new journals have been licensed. The library now supports BrowZine, which will allow students to access scholarly journals and articles from their mobile devices. University Libraries even listened to some of the smallest feedback requests, such as installing Google Chrome on its computers. Library staff also announced that they will launch another survey during the upcoming spring semester, meaning that they will continue to pay attention to the needs of students.

The initiative taken by the library’s staff is truly commendable. Listening to the desires of students is a sign of a responsive and caring staff. Beyond the significant advantages for students in doing their work, these innovations are also an achievement for the university. The library actively seeked student feedback and implemented that feedback in highly visible ways.

Other parts of the university community could help students immensely if they took similar measures with an open willingness to change and better fit what students need or want. This sort of proactive strategy is exactly what Carnegie Mellon should be using in its other initiatives.