“More group study rooms and a coffee machine, please!” International students’ wishes and library user experiences | ”Lisää ryhmätyöhuoneita ja kahvinkeitin, kiitos!” Kansainvälisten opiskelijoiden toiveet ja kirjaston käyttökokemukset

(Lopussa suomenkielinen tiivistelmä)

We at the library often consider whether we can serve all our customers in the best possible way. What kind of things do our international students value, for example? Since things are usually worked out best by asking, we decided to do so. In early spring in the library worked an UEF trainee, Gonzalo, who conducted a user survey for our international students. What kind of ideas and suggestions for development emerged from the survey?

57 students from different countries responded to the survey. The majority of respondents (37) studied in Joensuu, 20 in Kuopio. Many of the respondents have probably returned to their home countries already, but still: thank you very much for participating, every answer and comment is valuable!

Word cloud of the respondents' home countries: for example Italy, Germany, France, Iran, Spain, Pakistan, Turkey, Ireland, Kenya etc.
The students who responded to the survey were from all over the world.

We wanted to know, among other things, what students think about the library facilities, what they do in the library, where they find information about library services and have they encountered challenges or problems in using the library? Three points arose in particular from the responses to the survey:

  1. Students hope for more group study rooms
  2. Finding books on shelves is challenging
  3. Library facilities are functional and comfortable.

“More group study rooms. There are not a lot”

What do international students do and want to do in the library? Work at the computer, study together and borrow books – in the top of the three.

Answers to the question "What do you do in the library": work on the computer, group study work, borrow books, read books, relax, meet friends, other.
Answers to the question “What do you do in the library”.

Studying together and meeting friends at the library also came up in many responses. A wish for spaces where one could speak more freely often repeated: “More collaborative meeting areas where talking is allowed”, “A room to study but being able to talk without bothering others” and “More group work and to have more meeting areas to discuss”. This wish has certainly been identified throughout the university: students yearn for places where one can encounter other students and study together. At the same time, silence and working peace also emerged in the comments: “Have more group study places, and have people respect the silence more. Maybe marking out areas where people are allowed to talk would be a good way.” We at the library start working on a plan for better signposts and clearer spatial communication to ensure working peace for everyone. Adding new group study rooms, unfortunately, is currently almost impossible.

“Finding a book is challenging”

The biggest challenges in using the library involved finding books on the shelf – especially in Joensuu campus library. UEF Primo’s instructions were perceived as difficult and the placement of books on the shelf even illogical: “I would change the way books are classed on the shelves. Sometimes it’s the author’s name, sometimes the first letters of the book’s title, sometimes it’s by topic, sometimes it’s upstairs, sometimes it’s downstairs. Also the software that indicates where the books are is not always accurate. It is annoying to have to look for a long time to find the book I’m looking for.” We are trying to fix this problem as much as possible. Clearer shelf signage and possible changes to the database are already in the design.

“I love your study areas and couldn’t have managed through my first year in the university without the calmness of the library”

What beautiful feedback the library received from its premises! There were many answers to the question “what is your favorite place in the library”. The top three were comfortable chairs (especially those near the windows), group study rooms and all the places where you can relax. Someone even stated the following: “Most of the times I study in the library because it is more comfortable than my student home.” Of course, there is something to be developed: in addition to insufficient group study rooms, a coffee or a snack machine was wanted in the library: “It would be great if we had a place where we can get some coffee / water / snacks after the café is closed”. This is something we promise to ask the university about, because it would certainly serve the users of the library’s 24/7 facilities.

Nojatuoleja ja jalkalamppuja ikkunan luona Joensuun kampuskirjastossa. Comfy chairs and floor lamps close to the windows in Joensuu campus library.

Some other issues that were questioned: only 35% was aware, that there are information skills courses offered by the library available and only 20% had attended them. Those people thought that the course was very useful. We must step up the awareness about these courses, so that more people could gain them in the future. When asked about the channels where people get information about the library and its services, the library’s home page and UEF Primo seemed to be the most popular combination. Still, 20% had never used the library’s homepage. We are going to edit the homepages of both the library and UEF Primo to clarify their purpose – the library’s homepage tells comprehensively about the services, while UEF Primo is one, although the most important, of those services.

We at the Library warmly thank everyone who responded to the survey, and encourage you all to give feedback and wishes in the future. Without you students, the library is just an empty space!

Lyhyesti suomeksi

Kirjasto toteutti kevättalvella 2022 kyselyn palveluistaan kansainvälisille opiskelijoille. Kyselyyn saatiin 57 vastausta eri maiden kansalaisilta. Kyselyn avulla kartoitettiin mm. kirjaston tilojen käyttöä, toiveita, mahdollisia haasteita ja kirjaston palveluiden löytyvyyttä. Kyselyn avulla selvisi kolme pääkohtaa:

  1. Kansainväliset opiskelijat kaipaavat lisää ryhmätyötiloja.
  2. Kirjojen löytäminen hyllyistä tuntuu haastavalta (etenkin Joensuun kampuskirjastossa).
  3. Kirjaston tilat ovat toimivat ja viihtyisät.

Hyvien kehitysehdotusten ja kommenttien avulla kirjasto jatkaa palveluidensa kehittämistä. Ryhmätyötilojen lisääminen ei valitettavasti näillä näkymin onnistu, mutta toivottavasti saamme kehitettyä kirjastotilojen käyttöä ja kirjojen löytyvyyttä esimerkiksi erilaisin opastein. Kehitämme myös edelleen esimerkiksi UEF-Primon etusivua sekä kirjaston kotisivuja, jotta tieto erilaisista palveluista olisi helpommin löydettävissä.

Kirjasto ottaa mielellään vastaan palautetta ja kehitysehdotuksia kaikilta käyttäjiltään jatkossakin – ilman teitä opiskelijoita kirjasto olisi vain tyhjä tila!

Riitta Holopainen, information specialist | tietoasiantuntija
Laura Parikka, information specialist | tietoasiantuntija
Training and information services | Opetus- ja tietopalvelut

 

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Viitteidenhallintaohjelmat muutoksessa: RefWorksin tilaus lakkaa vuoden 2022 lopussa | Reference management tools in change: RefWorks’ subscription will cease at the end of 2022

(Please, scroll down to read in English.)

Viitteidenhallintaohjelma RefWorksin tilaus lakkautetaan vuoden 2022 lopussa sopimusteknisistä syistä. Tilauksen päättyminen koskee sekä nykyistä ProQuest RefWorksia että edellistä Legacy-versiota. Henkilökohtaisen RefWorks-lisenssin ostaminen ei ole valitettavasti mahdollista.

Kirjasto kartoitti helmikuussa 2022 erilaisten viitteidenhallintaohjelmien nykykäyttöä yliopistossamme ja käyttäjien toiveita ja ajatuksia tulevista työkaluista. Vastauksia saimme lähes 200 — kiitos kaikille vastaajille! Vastaukset ovat auttaneet suuresti uusien viitteidenhallintaohjelmien valinnassa ja viitteidenhallinnan tuen jatkosuunnittelussa.

Mendeley ja Zotero käyttöön syksystä 2022 alkaen, RefWorks säilyy vuoden 2022 loppuun

Kyselyyn vastanneiden enemmistö käyttää tällä hetkellä RefWorksia tai Mendeleytä. Mendeley sai kyselyssä eniten kannatusta uudeksi viitteidenhallintaohjelmaksi. RefWorksin jatkoa toivottiin myös, mutta valitettavasti siitä joudutaan luopumaan. Kolmanneksi sijoittui avoimeen lähdekoodiin perustuva Zotero.

Toiveet tulevista viitteidenhallintaohjelmista. Piirakkakaavio: EndNote 37 %, Mendeley 83 %, RefWorks 77 %, Zotero 47 %, Muu 13 %.
Kirjaston kyselyssä kartoitettiin toiveita tulevaisuuden viitteidenhallintaohjelmaksi. Kolmen kärki oli Mendeley, RefWorks ja Zotero.

Jatkossa kirjastosta saa tukea sekä Mendeleyn että Zoteron ilmaisversioiden käyttöön.  Kirjasto luo erilaisia ohjeita ja oppaita ja järjestää koulutuksia ensi syksystä alkaen niin uusista työkaluista kuin RefWorksissa olevien viitteiden siirrosta uusiin ohjelmiin.

Toiveissa helppokäyttöinen ja kaikille sopiva viitteidenhallintaohjelma

Toiveet viitteidenhallintatyökalujen ominaisuuksista toistuivat eri vastauksissa hyvin samankaltaisina: kärkeen nousivat helppokäyttöisyys, varma toimivuus ilman katkoja ja bugeja, käyttöoikeuden säilyminen myös UEF-affiliaation jälkeen, toimivuus eri ohjelmistoversioilla ja offline-käytössä sekä viitetyylien helppo muokattavuus. Moni vastaaja nosti esiin erilaisia aiempia käyttöongelmia niin RefWorksin kuin muidenkin ohjelmien suhteen. Aukottomasti toimivaa ja kaikkien käyttöön sopivaa viitteidenhallintaohjelmaa onkin aika haastavaa löytää. Viitteidenhallintaohjelmien perustoiminnot ovat kuitenkin suurelta osin samankaltaisia: kun osaa käyttää yhtä, osaa käyttää myös toista. Eri ohjelmia vertailemalla voi löytää itselleen sopivimman.

Kirjastolta toivotaan ohjeita ja koulutusta viitteidenhallintaohjelmien käyttöön sekä viitteiden siirtämiseen RefWorksista

Kirjasto pyysi myös toiveita ja kommentteja viitteidenhallintaan ja erityisesti kirjaston tarjoamaan tukeen ja opastukseen liittyen. Keskeisimpiä toiveita olivat pikainen ja selkeä tiedotus mahdollisista muutoksista ohjelmien suhteen, apua ja ohjeita viitteiden siirtoon, jos RefWorksista päätetään luopua sekä selkeitä ohjeita uusien työkalujen käyttöön lyhyiden opasvideoiden muodossa. Kyselyn vastauksista nousi vahvasti esille toive kirjaston tarjoamasta viitteidenhallinnan tuesta  jatkossakin. Toivottuja asioita onkin ryhdytty valmistelemaan kirjastolla — mainittakoon, että moni  kirjastolainen on jo ryhtynyt perehtymään Mendeleyn ja Zoteron saloihin.  Uusien viitteidenhallintaohjelmien käyttöönotosta ja RefWorksista luopumisesta tiedotetaan ja muistutellaan myös hyvissä ajoin ensi syksynä.

Mendeley logo Zotero logo

The reference management program RefWorks’ subscription will be ceased at the end of 2022 due to contract technical reasons. Termination of subscription applies to both the current ProQuest RefWorks and the previous version of Legacy. Unfortunately, buying a personal RefWorks licence is not possible.

In February 2022, the library surveyed the current use of various reference management programs at our University and users’ wishes and thoughts about future tools. We received nearly 200 responses — thanks to all respondents! Responses have greatly assisted in selecting new reference management programs and further planning support for reference management.

Mendeley and Zotero introduced from autumn 2022, RefWorks will remain until the end of 2022

The majority of the respondents of the survey currently use RefWorks or Mendeley. Mendeley received the most support in the poll as a new reference management program. A continuation of RefWorks was also hoped for, but unfortunately it won’t be an option after 2022. Third ranked open-source Zotero.

Results of the survey. Pie chart: EndNote 37%, Mendeley 83%, RefWorks 77%, Zotero 47%, Other 13%.
Library’s survey charted hopes for a future reference management program. The top three were Mendeley, RefWorks and Zotero.

In the future, the library will offer support for free versions of both Mendeley and Zotero. The library creates guides and organizes trainings starting next autumn. Help and guidance for transferring references from RefWorks will be also provided.

Easy to use and suitable reference manager for everyone?

Hopes for the features of reference management tools were repeated in different responses, with ease of use, secure functionality without breaks and bugs, retention of access even after UEF affiliation, functionality with different versions of software and offline use, and easy customizability of reference styles. Many respondents raised various problems with RefWorks as well as other programs. It is quite challenging to find a reference manager suitable for everyone. However, the basic functions of reference managers are mainly similar: when you know how to use one, you know how to use the other as well. Comparing different programs, one can find the most suitable for themselves.

Respondents expressed the wish for guidance and training in the use of reference management programs and the transfer of references from RefWorks

The library also asked for wishes and comments regarding reference management, particularly in relation to the support and guidance provided by the library. The key wishes were prompt and clear information on possible changes to the programs, assistance and guidance on references transfer should it be decided to abandon RefWorks, and clear instructions for the use of new tools in the form of short tutorial videos. The desire for continued support for reference management offered by the library was strongly expressed in the survey responses. These things are already being prepared by the library — it should be mentioned that many librarians have already started to get acquainted with Mendeley and Zotero’s secrets. The introduction of new reference management programs and the abandonment of RefWorks will also be informed and recalled well in advance next autumn.

Kirsi Salmi, tietoasiantuntija | Information specialist
Tietoaineistopalvelut | Collection services
Riitta Holopainen, tietoasiantuntija | Information specialist
Opetus- ja tietopalvelut | Training and information services
Heta Mikkonen, tietopalveluneuvoja | Information services advisor
Verkko- ja julkaisupalvelut | Library IT and publishing services

 

 

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Time to say goodbye!

Four months have passed by, and it’s time for me to say goodbye to my trainee period in the library.

When I first entered through the doors of the library as a normal student who comes to the premises to complete their essays, assignments, or study for their exams, I never thought about how much time I would spend in the Carelia building of Joensuu, where our library is located.

This place has meant lots to me, not only when it comes to studying, but also to socialize, relax, feel comfortable and spend my days. The library is a very important meeting point in Joensuu, where friends find knowledge, not only in the books, but also in other people.

This place feels like home. The books, the computers, and the people – everyone is together here for a reason. This feeling has been proven to me in these past four months. Magic happens from the service desk onwards, but what about what’s behind? In my first blog I wrote about how curious I was regarding the machinery behind the shelves. The human machinery.

Non-stop working behind the staff doors: acquisition, review, cataloguing, shelving, information retrieval courses, and concern for the users. Nothing ever stops, and even though you, as users, don’t know the people working here, they know you and want to know you even more.

ihminen istuu tuolissa kirjahyllyn luona

This is why we designed a survey about the library services. We want to improve; they want to improve: From premises to services and problems with the noise. What is going on in the library is one of the main concerns of the people that make all this possible.

Regarding concerns, I also got the opportunity of selecting books for the Multilingual Month, creating a collection related to linguistic minorities, language endangerment and bilingualism, because the cultural and linguistic identity are very important aspects of our society, and I am very thankful, as a linguistics student, for being able to make such a selection. Discrimination also affects languages, and the equality of all of them should always be sought.

By this last post, I want to say thank you to all the people who work in the library and from whom I have learnt and enjoyed so much. The library always felt home, but now even more. I can confirm this after working for four months with all of them, with all of you.

Thank you for making this possible. For being library. For making history. For telling the story.

Gonzalo Maestro, Library trainee

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