“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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Hymy- ja valitusviikot: opiskelijapalautetta kirjastolle, opparille ja tipalle | Smiles and Complaints Week: student feedback to the Library, Oppari and IT Services

(Please, scroll down to read in English.)

Itä-Suomen yliopiston ylioppilaskunnan vuotuinen palautekampanja Hymy- ja valitusviikot oli tänä vuonna 30.9.-4.10.2019 sekä Joensuun että Kuopion kampuksella. Palautetta tuli myös kirjastolle, opparille ja tipalle.

Toivottiin, että Kuopion kampuskirjasto olisi pidempään auki, jopa 24/7 kuten Joensuun kampuskirjasto jo nyt on. On iloa kertoa, että ensi vuoden kesällä tämä muutos tehdään. Tosin se tarkoittaa sitä, että Kuopion kampuskirjasto tulee todennäköisesti olemaan kiinni kesällä, kun tilaa remontoidaan.

Tilasuunnittelu on meneillään, ja mukaan on kutsuttu myös opiskelijaedustajia. Kun palautteissa oli toivottu latauspistokkeita lukusaliin, tullaan sekin tässä yhteydessä miettimään. Tosin se on hieman kaksipiippuinen juttu, sillä osa hiljaisen lukusalin käyttäjistä häiriintyy jopa näppäimistöjen äänistä. Mutta pohditaan tätä.

Joensuun kampuskirjastoa koskevissa palautteissa oli aika monta huomiota kirjaston eri salien joko kylmyydestä tai kuumuudesta. Rakennuksella alkaa olla jo ikää ja kaikille sopivan lämpötilan saavuttaminen on haasteellista. Ehkä tässä auttaisi, jos kirjaston käyttäjät tekisivät itse asiasta huoltopyynnön kiinteistöhuoltoon, kun tilanne on akuutti. Sitä varten on lomake (vaatii kirjautumisen Heimoon). Tilanne olisi ehkä helpommin korjattavissa, jos kiinteistöhuollon edustajilla olisi mahdollisuus välittömästi arvioida, mikä syy mahdollisesti on kylmyyden tai kuumuuden takana.

Toinen useamman kerran esiintynyt risukimppu oli toive hiljaisuudesta. Kirjasto on jaettu erilaisiin äänivyöhykkeisiin, esimerkiksi alakerrassa siirrytään pääovelta katsoen asteittain yhä hiljaisempiin tiloihin, joista hiljaisin on lukusali. Tästä syystä sinne ei myöskään ole suunnitteilla pistokepaikkoja, koska osa lukusalin käyttäjistä kokee koneiden naputtelun häiritsevänä.

Esitettiin, että hiljaisuuden toteutumista tulisi valvoa tarkemmin; tai väitettiin, ettei kirjastossa osata ohjeistaa hiljaiseen työskentelyyn. Asia on esillä aina syksyisin tutorkierroksilla, ja hiljaisuudesta viestivät tikkarit ovat paikoillaan ensimmäisessä kerroksessa. Lähtökohtanamme on, että opiskelijat ovat vastuuntuntoisia yliopisto-opiskelijoita, jotka huomioivat työrauhan kirjastossa. Tarvittaessa nostamme työrauhan esille pienimuotoisilla kampanjoilla.

Toivottiin:

  • lepotilaa kirjastoon: Laavua voi käyttää lepäämiseen samoin kuin Ololaa;
  • taukojumppahuonetta: ehkä jokin muu paikka on taukojumppahuoneelle parempi kuin kirjasto;
  • kahvikonetta: koska Carelia-ravintola on vieressä, ei hankinta ole suunnitelmissa;
  • säkkituoleihin lisää täytteitä – entiset hävinneet jonnekin: asia on jo hoidossa ja toivottavasti ratkaisu tähän löytyy.

Kiitos myös ruusuista, joita sateli ”hyvästä ja ihanasta palvelusta” ja siitä että ” henkilökunta on huippua!”. Erään palautteen mukaan Joensuun kampuskirjasto on ”The most beautiful library ever!”

The annual Smiles and Complaints Week feedback campaign of the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland was held on 30 September – 4 October this year at both the Joensuu and Kuopio campuses. The Library, Oppari and IT Services also received feedback.

Respondents indicated that they would like Kuopio Campus Library to be open later, even 24/7 like the Joensuu Campus Library. We are glad to announce that this change will be made next summer. It does mean, however, that the Kuopio Campus Library will likely be closed during the summer for renovations.

The design process is under way, and we have invited student representatives to participate. A need for charging outlets in reading areas was expressed in the feedback, and we will be addressing this issue as well. This is quite tricky, though, as some users of the quiet reading areas are distracted by sounds of the keyboard. However we will be discussing this issue.

The feedback concerning Joensuu Campus Library contained quite a few remarks on how cold or warm the different areas of the library are. The building is getting old, and achieving a temperature that is suitable for everyone is quite difficult. One solution to this could be that library users should make a facility maintenance request to building maintenance when the problem arises. You can use the facility maintenance request form (requires login to Heimo). The situation might be best resolved if building maintenance had the chance to assess the reason for the temperature on site without delay.

Another theme that kept popping up was the need for peace and quiet. The library is divided into various noise zones; on the ground floor, for example, you move from the main entrance towards quieter areas as you move further inside the library, ending up in the reading room. That is why we are not planning on adding power outlets to the reading room, because some of the users of the quietest reading area feel that fingers on keyboards are distracting.

Some respondents wanted stricter control on keeping the areas quiet, or claimed that the library staff were unable to instruct people to keep quiet. The issue is always brought up on the tutor rounds in the autumn, and signs that remind people to keep quiet are in place on the first floor. Our premise is that our students are responsible university students, who take others into consideration when using the library. We will highlight the issue by running small campaigns, if necessary.

Wishes:

  • Lounge areas in the library: Laavu and Olola can be used for resting;
  • Exercise break facilities: the library may not be the best place for exercise facilities;
  • Coffee machine: because we are located close to the Carelia restaurant, we are not planning on purchasing a coffee machine;
  • More filling for beanbags – the filling has mysteriously disappeared: we are taking care of this matter and hoping for a swift solution.

We would also like to thank you for the positive feedback, which we got for a “friendly and lovely service” and the fact that our “personnel are top notch!” One piece of feedback even read that the Joensuu Campus Library is “the most beautiful library ever!”

Arja Juntunen, palvelupäällikkö | Head of Services
Asiakaspalvelut | Customer services

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