Our district is participating in the Texas Library Snapshot Day, part of ALA’s Snapshot Day, an effort to gather data on libraries around the country.
We used both a paper survey and an online poll to gather student data this past Monday(and our questions were based on the statewide poll) . The responses were somewhat what I expected at the high school level. (One caveat: We did have fewer classes scheduled that day than we normally do, because state standardized testing started the next day.)
At a high school the library functions as a student union, providing services from reading and relaxing to research and instruction. Our survey figures reflect that multi-purpose use of our space, and it coincides with how we designed our new library, with spaces for relaxing(our cafe where students can eat their lunches while studying), and spaces for research(computer areas, reference areas). A good reason to do a survey like this when you are redesigning a space–to be sure you understand how students are using your space!
Doing this provided a valuable interaction with students(as doing the survey shows them we care about what they are using the library for) and valuable information for us in terms of purchasing, planning, policies, etc.
We had 450 respondents during the one day period, which I estimate is about 65%-70% of students who actually walked in the door(and some were here several times).
Here is our “snapshot!”