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Data Collection Methods


We wanted to discover how the students of JMU feel about Carrier Library. We created
a seven question interview that we conducted face to face with one hundred students.
The four of us divided up the process and each interviewed twenty-five different people.
We interviewed students in Carrier and also outside of the library in different areas. We
felt that this would be the best process to start our study with, because the students
gave us great information. Gathering this data was a very good starting point for our
proposal because it gave us an inside look at what students felt were Carriers primary
needs. Through our face to face interactions, we were also able to get a feel for why
some students preferred ECL over Carrier. This was helpful because it helped identify
some of the undesirable aspects of Carrier.


We took the responses from our Interview analysis and created a four question survey
based off our findings. We then sent the survey out on multiple different Facebook
pages. Our main use for this survey was to find an issue that students feel needs
improvement within the library. We had three hundred and eighty-seven responses for
the survey. We analyzed our results and then created our proposals. The responses
suggested that Carrier needed to address its lack of seating. The majority of students
said that their number 1 complaint about Carrier was that it needs more seating and
tables. Although many students felt that a 24 hour room would be very beneficial, we
went by the numbers and chose to look at the predominant area of concern. The
questionnaire responses were extremely helpful when determining what our project
proposal would focus on for the semester. It was eye opening to see the range of
responses about where people thought Carrier needed to improve.


The last data collection method we used was observation. Through this process we
discovered that there is a lot of wasted space in the library that could be used to add
more tables. We discovered that the librarians available are very useful and helpful. We
went through the library and counted how many study rooms there are available for
students to use. Through our observations we also discovered that it is difficult to find a
table to use during the day because so many students use the library. Looking at
Carrier through a critical lens also helped us come to the conclusion that adding seats
would be the most beneficial process for the students. Our observations opened our
eyes to some of Carriers shortcomings and lead us to select this project proposal. We
used our best judgement to find areas where those who work at Carrier can add more
tables and seating in the future.

Interview Results:

As you can see above, we found that majority of the students we interviewed do use the
This result was really close, but we found that 56% of the students prefer Carrier over
ECL. The respondents explained that Carriers location is closer to where they live and
its closer to their classes. They did feel that ECL looks more pleasing than Carrier.
Our results show that most of the students that we interviewed go to the libraries at
least 3-5 times a week. The students find it easier to concentrate on their studies while
in the library.
We found that 52% of the participants go to the library during the night and 48% go
more in the afternoon.
Most students stay at least 3 to 4 hours when they go to the libraries. This is because
they usually have a test, paper, or project due in the next few days.
After analyzing the results to this question we found that most of the students believe
that Carrier needs to have more tables, seats and a 24 hour room.
After analyzing these answers we found that the respondents feel like there needs to be
more tables/ seating, more study areas and a 24 hour room.

Survey Results:
The results of the survey suggested that more tables for seating was the one
improvement that the majority of students would like to see implemented. 166 students
chose more tables, while 152 felt that a 24 hour room would have the most beneficial
impact on Carrier as a whole. These 2 options were very close in terms of the number
of respondents and obviously both had a lot of support from Carriers visitors.

While 60% of the survey respondents answered that they enjoyed their experience at
Carrier, 40% of students responded unfavorably. We feel that this could be improved by
adding tables and seating to enhance the Carrier environment and culture.
While nearly 50% of the respondents felt that Carrier is always open when they need it
to be, the other half of individuals surveyed did not feel the same way. This disparity
could be addressed by the implementation of a 24 hour room which would eliminate the
issue of insufficient hours.

Only 33% of our respondents said that they do not visit Carrier often. This indicated
that our survey was completed mostly by students who frequently go to Carrier. This is
encouraging and indicates that our respondents were very familiar with Carrier and
some of its areas of improvement.