Our Year of Assessment at Columbia University’s Business and Economics Library

Kathleen Dreyer, Nisa Bakkalbasi


In order to establish a baseline understanding of the needs and the perceptions of service quality among graduate business and economics students and faculty, we employed a multi-method assessment approach combining quantitative and qualitative statistics through a survey, exit polls, and direct observations to inform improvement planning of library services and spaces.

While a substantial number of faculty and students were completely satisfied with the services and staff of the Thomas J. Watson Library of Business and Economics, there were some differences among student groups in terms of their satisfaction and interest in new services, technology, furniture, amount of space in the library, and service hours. The Watson Library is both a social and academic space, and students want to complete their academic work efficiently, without wasting time by switching locations, rooms, and/or devices. Our observation revealed that students rarely seem to engage in just one activity and are often studying, texting and talking with friends simultaneously.


Assessment; Graduate students; Surveys

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