Assessment Update – August 2019 

Librarians and library staff have long believed that library usage influences student success, so the Pius/Medical Center Libraries Assessment Committee set out to determine if we could correlate student use of Pius Library with their GPAs. From January 15, 2018 to December 17, 2018, users who swiped their ID cards into the library between 9:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. were studied anonymously. Evening hours were selected because 9:00 p.m.-7:30 the only time period when both library entrances have access to card swiping.  Public Safety coordinated the the data on students who swiped into the library at night. Patrick Kelly, Senior Research Analyst from the Office of Institutional Research, helped immensely with this project and, he was able to link the I.D. information with Registrar’s data on GPA to see if students using the library during the evening hours had higher GPAs. Patrick Kelly found no correlation between nighttime library users and better term GPAs. He suggested that we construct a survey to focus on students’ perceptions of how they were using the library.   The Assessment Committee agreed to develop a survey with Qualtrics using broad questions about reasons for using the library. Jonathan Harms and Patrick Kelly set up the survey on February 28, and a distribution list was requested from Registrar Jay Haugen. The survey was sent to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students asking how they used the library in six 4-hour time periods throughout the day during a typical week. We distributed the survey on March 19 with a two-week time period for completion. Of the 10,914 students who received surveys, 1827 responded to the survey, a response rate of 17%.  Patrick Kelly analyzed the data, and the Assessment Committee completed report on the project with these results.  Committee member Matthew Glasscock prepared this table from the survey: 





Other conclusions: 

  • There is no significant higher GPA by school or major 
  • Many Medical campus and Law students use Pius Library 
  • Just as we cannot assert that library use improves student performance, we also cannot conclude that library use has no impact because we have no way of comparing the GPA of those students who use the library with the GPA they would have achieved if they had not used the library. 

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