/   Library   /   About   /   Improvement   /   2013   /   responses

2013 LibQUAL+ survey responses
You spoke, we listened.

Study Spaces & Noise

What you said:

What we're doing:

Not enough individual study space!

Not enough group study rooms!

Is there any way to create a place to study outside of the library?!?

The library is so drab looking!

The atmosphere is horrendous at Vanier.

In progress. 300 individual study seats and 15 group study rooms to open in September 2014 in the Grey Nuns property.

There is also a major renovation planned for Webster Library, to be carried out between 2014-2017. This will increase the number and condition of study spaces.

After Webster renovations are complete in 2017 we will begin to assess our options for a renovation at Vanier.

It’s way too loud! No one respects the orange/blue zone rules.

In progress. We are hoping the opening of the Grey Nuns and planned renovations of Webster Library will improve the study conditions, but in the meantime we have hired additional staff to patrol the study zones.

We want study space that is just for graduate and PhD students.

Done! At the moment there is a Graduate Study Room at each library. You need to register for them at the Circulation Desk with your student ID card.

There is also a new grad-only space in the renovation plans for Webster Library.

Can we get laptop free zones? The clicking of people typing is distracting.

In progress. At the moment we do not have the space to create such a zone, nor the staff to enforce it. There is such a zone in the Webster Renovation plans.

The space gets so messy on weekends, the bathrooms are always a disaster and the computers are dirty.

This is one of the drawbacks of having our building accessible 24 hours. We increased cleaning when we opened the libraries 24/7 but in an attempt to not disturb student while they are studying, the cleaning staff cannot properly clean the library. If at any point there is an area that is unacceptable, please report it at one of our service desks.

The library should work with other groups on campus to host lectures.

Unfortunately we currently do not have the classroom space within the library to host lectures. There are several places around campus that do host lectures series. Here are a few that are happening during the Winter 2014 semester:

Coffee machines in the Vanier library.

Café in the lobby of the Vanier library.

Food areas! We need a place to eat and take a break when we have been studying all day.

There has been discussion from groups outside the library about starting a student-run café on the Loyola campus in the Hive. This space is directly linked with the Vanier Library so you will not have to go far to get your coffee.

As for food areas, at the Vanier Library there is an eating area for quick snacks and lunches on the staircase landing area of the 2nd and 3rd floor. At Webster there is a small snack counter on the staircase landing just outside the main entrance gate.

Is there any way to add a greenhouse or sun room? Natural light is so important.

This is definitely a proposal to consider for Vanier. In the meantime you can visit the Concordia Greenhouse on the 13th floor of the Hall Building.

Can we get some comfy seating? A couch or two maybe. . .

Done! We’ve added a few at the entrance of the Webster Library.

Longer service hours in the summer!

Please stay open for 24 hours in the summer semesters.

Summer is our slowest time of year for obvious reasons and the fact of the matter is that there just aren’t enough students using the library in the summer to justify the expense of keeping the services desks and library open longer. As a compromise, during the summer semester the library is open 24 hours for the exam periods.

Back to top

Library Collections

What you said:

What we're doing:

Please buy more books in French!

In progress. We do purchase books in French in the area of French literature, language and translation since those are the areas of focus for our Études Franҫaises program. This year we have received some extra one-time money for acquisitions. Some of it will be used to improve our collection of French language material.

Concordia is an English university and so the majority of the books we buy to support our programs are in English. However, we would be happy to borrow any French language books you require (when available) from another institution.

Why are the books for my program being kept at the other campus library?

If there is a book you need for your work at the other campus, you can request online that it be sent to the library of your choice.

As to why it is being kept on the other campus, there are two possible reasons:

Reason 1: Some books are relevant to multiple programs and in those cases, the book is kept at the campus of the program it was ordered for.

Reason 2: Your department used to be on the other campus. When the department moved, the books never followed simply because there wasn’t space for them on the library shelves. We are undergoing a collections reconfiguration along with the renovations of the Webster Library. In this process, we will try as much as possible to have the collection on the campus where the department is.

Please arrange the print journals in a way that makes sense. It is very hard to locate specific journals.

At the moment, our print journals are arranged according to Library of Congress call numbers. We have asked our print journal working group to investigate the feasibility of alphabetizing them instead.

The journal collection is abysmal!!!!!!!!!

There are many journals I need for my research that I can’t access!

We need more journals!

Why don’t we subscribe to [specific journal title]?

We have current journals, but no access to the backfiles!

There were some comments that mentioned the names of specific journals. Some of those journals we actually do have access to, so if you are in doubt it never hurts to check with your librarian or at the Reference Desk. There were some journals named that we don’t have, and we have made a note of those and will consider them for future subscription if budget allows it.

Journals are tricky to finance because they use a subscription model. With books we pay a one-time fee and they are ours. With journals we have to pay a fee every year, and generally that fee increases each year. So not only do we have to make sure we have $3000 available this year to pay for it, we need to guarantee that we will have $3090 next year and $3183 the year after that and $3278 year after that. That can be tricky to guarantee with the way University budgets fluctuate.

This year, if there is enough money left over after all the other bills are paid, we will look at purchasing backfiles (which are predominately one-time fees) of high-use journals.

We should be buying more print books!

We should have all the books from important university presses!

My discipline relies heavily on print books and there is never enough available in the library in my area of research.

In progress. We have recently been given some additional funding to put towards our book purchases. If you have suggestions for specific titles please let us know by filling out this suggestion form.

However there are so many new books published each year and we will never be able to buy them all or have the shelf space to store them all. When it happens that we can’t purchase a book that you need, you can always use interlibrary loans.

Can you make the acquisitions policy public so we know how to make recommendations for book purchases?

If you think there is a book we should add to our collection, you can let us know here. Or you can email your suggestion directly to your subject librarian. Your subject librarian will also be more than happy to inform you about the acquisition policy for your subject area.

Back to top


What you said:

What we're doing:

More books and longer loans for graduate students.

Done! Grad students can now borrow up to 100 books with a loan period of 120 days.

3 Renewals for books is not enough!

In progress! We will increase it to 5 renewals for all users. This won’t change the loan period and books can still be recalled if requested by another user. This means however that undergraduates can borrow books for 21 days, and will be able to renew them five times to a maximum of 126 days. Faculty have a loan period of 120 days and will be able to renew them five times to a maximum of 720 days.

More Textbooks! 3 Hours is not enough!

In progress. We keep track of use and try to buy additional copies of in-demand titles. For items where we already have many copies, we are considering extending the loan period. We will do our best, but the Libraries' collection will never provide a full substitute for owning your own textbook.

The course reserve room at Webster looks really great! Is it possible to open one at Vanier?

In progress. We’re happy that you like the Webster Reserves Room. Currently there are plans to build a 24-hour reserves room at Vanier. We will be announcing our construction schedule shortly!

The circulation desk is always closed when I come to pick up my holds. Can you keep it open longer?

We don’t have the staff at the moment to increase our service hours.

However, at the Webster library, we were able to implement a public holds shelf. You can now pick up your books yourself and use a self-check-out machine when the desk is closed.

I find the organizational system difficult to understand and can never find the books I want on the shelf. You should have people on each floor to help with finding books.

Unfortunately, we do not have the staff to station people full-time on each floor. You can ask at the Circulation Desk if you are having difficulty locating items. Also, if you encounter staff members re-shelving books, you can ask them for help as well.

Can the due date notices come 5 days before the item is due back? Right now it comes 2 days and that isn’t always enough time to get it back.

We need to find a balance with the courtesy notices – if we send them too soon, they get disregarded. If possible, when you know you can’t return the book by the due date, you can renew it online yourself and extend the due date.

Books that get transferred from the other campus are not being held long enough. Sometimes I can’t make it in during the days it will be on the hold shelf. Please hold them for 5-7 days!

Again, a lot of our policies are trying to strike a balance that is most beneficial to all users. If we keep items on the hold shelf for a week, that means they are not available to other patrons who might need to use them. If you know you won’t have time to come in and retrieve your holds, you can cancel the hold and then place another hold on the item immediately. As long as no one else has requested the item, it will then stay on the hold shelf for another 3 days.

Eliminate fines! They are disrespectful given how busy we are.

The library collection is shared by all students and faculty and these rules are necessary to help support the equitable use of collections. We believe that the loan periods coupled with the option to renew (when not requested by another user) is sufficient for most work and research. For example, with renewals an undergraduate student can have a library book for 84 days. Faculty, with renewals, can have a library book for 480 days.

To avoid paying fines, you can simply renew your books online. However, we understand that there might be situations beyond your control that might make it impossible for you to return library material on time. If this occurs, please contact Circulation Services to make special arrangements.

Is there some way we can pay our fines online?

In progress. At the moment, it is not possible to pay for fines online. We are looking into software options that are compatible with our system.

I’ve heard of other libraries that deliver books directly to your office instead of being forced to go to the library to pick it up. Why can’t we do something similar?

We understand that time is limited, especially when the semester starts to pick-up. At the moment we do not offer such a delivery service and we unfortunately don’t have time to devote to a feasibility study. We have received similar comments in the past and will keep it on the list of items to consider for future services.

It would be nice if you could put a book return drop somewhere accessible by car for easy returns.

Logistically getting a return box on the sidewalk is complicated. To have it be in an area that is secure, accessible by car and feasible for staff to regularly empty is not possible at this time and it would require, among other things, a permit from the city.

Back to top

Interlibrary Loans

What you said:

What we're doing:

Deliver ILL articles through email.

Done! It took some work, but we delivered our first ILL through email in September 2013! We are thrilled to permanently add this delivery method to our ILL service for journal articles.

Why can’t I borrow e-documents from another library?

Starting with September 2013, we now make journal articles borrowed from another library available to you online (certain publisher restrictions might occasionally apply). Due to publisher’s restrictions, it is not yet possible to do this with books.

Back to top

Computers & Equipment

What you said:

What we're doing:

Can you monitor computer use? Some people use the computers for non-academic purposes.

Short answer: No we can’t.

Long answer: Even if we had the staff to patrol and monitor computer use, it is extremely difficult to assess whether the use is academic or not. Not to mention that closely monitoring students while they are using the computers presents a whole host of privacy and ethical concerns.

People use technology in different ways and all programs have assignments that are unique to their discipline. Using a library computer to watch a Hitchcock movie may look like non-academic computer use to a chemistry student, but to a film history student it is academic work.

Can we get one or two PCs with a floppy disk drive?

Unfortunately not. Floppy disk drives are obsolete. We are open to exploring options of moving this type of data to other media types where possible, but for the moment, we have a limited computer budget and cannot afford to invest in and maintain computers with floppy disk drives.

New computers please!

They take so long to start up!

Keyboard and mouse are run down.

Done! Shortly after the LibQual survey, we updated the operating system of the library computers. This has hopefully resolved some of the speed issues.

If you come across a computer with a broken mouse or keyboard, please report it to one of the service desks so we can make sure it gets repaired or replaced.

Webster needs more express workstations!

Webster needs more computer workstations!

We need more computers on every floor!

More iPads please!

We need more laptops! I often need to borrow one and they are tough to get.

The Webster renovation plans include adding more computer workstations to each floor of the library. Unfortunately until those renovations have been completed, we will not be increasing our number of computer workstations because we do not have money in our equipment budget for more computers, laptops or tablets.

Why can't Vanier have the nicer laptops like they have a Webster?

Done! The Vanier Library now has new laptops!

Can you provide laptops with VGA ports? I needed one to hook up to a projector for a presentation.

Newer model laptops have HDMI cables instead of VGA ports so we are looking into loaning VGA-HDMI adaptors for those who need laptops for presentations.

Why can’t you provide us with book scanners like McGill?

We need more scanners and computers with photoshop.

We would also like to have book scanners but at the moment there is no money for extra equipment like that. We will place this on our wish list if funds do become available.

We should also add that alongside the Webster Renovation plans. We will be examining technology in the library and new scanners will be included in that analysis.

More staplers! Everywhere! On each floor!

Individually, staplers aren’t that expensive. However if you have ever witnessed someone trying to repair a broken backpack with a library stapler, you would understand that academic staplers have a very short lifespan and the replacement costs add up quickly.

For more details on the lifespan of library staplers check out this blog:

The Lives and Deaths of Academic Library Staplers

Improve the wifi! Sometimes it is fine, but other times it is hard to maintain the connection and can be super slow.

In progress. The wi-fi is maintained by Concordia IT Services. We met with them in Fall 2013 and they have an action plan they will put in place to improve wireless access. They are currently testing new technology in other buildings and if it is successful they might be able to deploy the same technology in the Webster Library during the renovations.

Lend some of the iPads for 3 or 6 hours. When all of them go out for 3 days and it means that there are never any available!

With the number of tablets we currently have, this loan period provides the best balance in making computer equipment available to students. Our laptops are small and light and we suggest that you consider borrowing one of them instead when you need a computer for a short period of time.

Can there be someone available to answer technical questions?

The staff at the service desks should be able to help you with any technical questions. If they are fairly complex the staff will call a technician to help.

There needs to be more electrical outlets at both Vanier and Webster. There should be at least one or even two per seat!

The electrical outlets don’t always work! I have used several study cubical and had my computer die because the outlet wasn’t working properly

We have devoted considerable funds to adding and improving access to electrical outlets. More will also be added when the Webster Library is renovated.

If you ever notice that an electrical outlet isn’t working, please report it to one of the service desks so we can investigate and have it repaired as needed.

Back to top

Website & Library catalogue

What you said:

What we're doing:

Make the website more like Google.

Articles are so complicated and frustrating to look for and access.

Why can’t there just be one search box on the main page where you can search all academic journals at the same time?

In progress. We are working on it.  We are investigating a new software that would allow you to search through all the library resources at the same time.  Stay tuned for details.

Booking a study room is too complicated.

In progress. We are currently reviewing booking software to find one that is easier to use.

I want my account to remember the books I’ve checked out in the past.

Done! That option is already available, but you need to opt-in! It is called My Reading History.

I wish the library website was more accessible for people who are blind or have low-vision problems.

In progress. Very soon the library website will be re-designed to bring it more in-line with the University’s main website. Accessibility concerns will be a part of this re-design.

I wish there were more chapter titles and table of contents included in the Library catalogue records.

Almost all of the Library catalogue records for new books contain table of contents information. The missing table of contents is a problem that occurs with our older books and some of our e-books.

Most of our older books do not have chapter titles available online. This is because they were published before the digital era and the information simply isn’t available in a digital format. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to digitize table of contents for millions of these older books.

Table of contents information can also be missing from some of our e-books records. Those records are added to the Library catalogue through an automated process and occasionally are missing table of contents. We are looking at e-book software that will help improve this process and hopefully include chapter title information.

Back to top

Research Help

What you said:

What we're doing:

You should have guides that tell you how to use the library effectively.

There should be more information available on line to show us how the resources work.

We already have some! Under the Help & Instruction tab there are links to different types of guides. You can also look at your research guide for help guides and instructions on how to use different resources. They can be found here, they are arranged by faculty and then subject.

You should hold different kinds of workshops.

We hold several different workshops each session. The workshops listed here are open to everyone and we also give workshops for graduate students in conjunction with the GradProSkills program. Those workshops can be found here.

If you have a suggestion for a workshop that you don’t see listed, please send us an email to let us know.

Back to top
Back to top arrow up, go to top of page