Behrend College Improvement of Library Collections

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Erie, The Behrend College
Date Started: 
March 2001
Issue Statement:

Each year the survey of graduating seniors measures the students’ satisfaction with the library collections. Satisfaction has increased rather dramatically in recent years, however, there is still room for improvement, and this remains an issue that warrants further development and consideration.

It is felt that student satisfaction with the library collection might improve if students took a more active role in making suggestions about possible book titles to add to the collection, or subject areas that need to be strengthened. Although the library staff has taken steps to solicit greater student input, so far student reaction to these efforts has been modest.

The purpose of this CQI project is to explore and identify more effective ways to collect student input regarding the libraries book collection, with the hope that greater student input will lead to a better collection, and ultimately to more satisfied student library users.


This project has a narrow focus and should not require a great deal of time. It is anticipated that the team will complete its work no later than January 2001.

As planned, the CQI group met in November under the guidance of reference librarian, Jane Ingold. The charge to this CQI team was to identify ways in which students might become more involved in recommending books to be purchased and added to the library’s collection. One of the College’s SPIs (Strategic Planning Indicators) related to the library is “satifaction with the library collection”. It is hoped that by having this CQI team develop ways to foster greater student input into the collection-building process, we will improve the quality of our collections and see our SPI score improve.

The team developed a series of possible strategies that the library staff can now use in helping foster greater student input in the book selection process.
Ms. Ingold and Dr. Hart reviewed the strategies and have targeted some for implementation over the next several months. The strategies listed here are not only relatively easy to implement, but are also likely to be successful in achieving the objective. In fact, as a group, they have no doubt that these strategies should lead to increased student involvement in the book selection process.

Strategies for Implementation, Spring 2001:

* Develop more and better signage describing book recommendations
* Highlight the book recommendation option on the Library's Web page
* Revise recommendation sheets; include "reason for recommendation"
* "Stuff" the box so it looks like we get many requests
* Display recommendation sheets and box more prominently
* Have librarians describe and promote book recommendation to students in all library bibliographic instruction sessions
* Get an article in the Behrend Beacon describing improved book budget and possibility of student recommendations

Contact Person: 
Jane Ingold
  • Rick Hart, Sponsor
  • Jane Ingold, Leader/Facilitator
  • Five Graduate Students, Member
  • Brian Moore, Member