Webster University Library survey comments & Library actions | Webster University Library

Updated March 2010

Webster University Library Survey Comments & Library Actions

In spring 2007, the Webster University Library conducted an online survey of user satisfaction with the library's materials, services, technology, and facilities. A total of 946 survey responses were received from students, faculty, and staff at the St. Louis and extended campuses, and in the online programs. Overall, the responses showed a high degree of satisfaction with the library.


Survey respondents were also invited to provide open-ended comments and suggestions. Information about the changes we have made in response to specific survey suggestions is below.



Catalog and organization of collection

Ease of use

--Several users commented that the online catalog is difficult to navigate and that materials are hard to find. We recognize that the catalog can be difficult to use, and we are working to redesign our catalog's interface. In spring 2007 we added a feature which offers alternate spelling suggestions for searches that retrieve no results. We have changed our location labels in the catalog by adding floor numbers to all of the labels, and by removing the potentially confusing term "Stacks". We will also distribute information about what status codes such as "On Search" and "In Process" mean. We have also added signs in the elevators detailing what materials can be found on each floor, and we have a handout with a map that shows where materials are located. And we are always happy to help--please ask if there is something we can help you find!


Library catalog default

--Respondents reported that sometimes the catalog defaults to the full Bridges catalog (materials belonging to Webster-Eden and eight other libraries), instead of to just Eden-Webster's collection. We believe we have resolved the technical issues which cause this. If you have problems, please contact the Research Desk at 314-968-6950 or front desk at 314-968-6952.


Problems searching for journals

--Assistance with finding journals and journal articles can be found on the library's How do I ... find articles page.


Difficulty locating older issues of periodicals

--Our older periodicals are in alphabetical order by title on the lower level of the building. We are exploring ways to improve the location labeling of older periodicals in the catalog.


Missing journal issues including Parkett

--We have a few very popular periodicals which are very hard to keep in the library even though they are security tagged. We are discussing a number of options that might help with this problem. When possible, we order replacements for missing issues at the time of binding.


Problems searching for videos

--You may want to start searching for videos by using the Videos/DVDs link from the home page. This will take you to Video Search Express, which provides for quick searching using keyword, genre, or language search options. We will revise this page to emphasize the fact that you can only use ONE search option at a time. More detailed searches (such as subject searches, limiting based on year, or a combination of keyword, genre, or language) can be done in the catalog by limiting to the video format. For more information, see our Finding Videos tutorial. Like books, the videos are arranged on the shelf by LC Classification numbers. This allows items to be grouped by subject area, and it works well for non-fiction videos. However, it can be confusing for feature films, which are shelved in the video area alphabetically by title under PN1997 (for movies produced in 2000 or earlier) and PN1997.2 (for movies produced in 2001 or later).


Searching for a type of video (comedy, etc.)

--Feature films are shelved alphabetically by title under PN1997 (2000 or earlier) and PN1997.2 (2001 or later), and they are not broken into categories like Comedy, Horror, etc. However, you can find a video by type in Video Search Express by choosing a type such as "Comedy films" under "Search for Video by Genre", or in the catalog by doing a keyword search on a type such as "Comedy" and limiting to video format.


Problems finding Community Music School (CMS) materials

--Webster University was fortunate to receive the CMS collection of more than 20,000 items. Since the 2007 survey, we have completed the project to absorb the CMS into existing collections. Please ask for help if you have trouble locating an item.


Materials purchased for the Library

Students and staff may submit requests for purchase through our Ask a Librarian service or by using the suggestion box at the front desk. Faculty may make purchase suggestions through their departments; for more information on faculty requests, see our liaison page.


More books and more updated books; minimize the need to borrow using MOBIUS and interlibrary loan

--Emerson Library purchased 8,162 new titles in FY06/07. There is a collection development plan for each department and area of study at Webster University, and faculty members and library liaisons work together to select materials to support the curriculum. As a university library, we do keep older books on our shelves. Many of these may be classics that are still cited in bibliographies. We did withdraw or "weed" a number of older or damaged items before we moved into the new library building in 2003, and we weed on an ongoing basis as time permits. It is not possible for every library to own all of the resources that might be needed by each user, but the MOBIUS system and interlibrary loan provide our users with access to a vast array of resources. The MOBIUS system is designed to allow Missouri academic libraries to leverage our resources by allowing us to buy more unique titles rather than duplicating many of the same titles in many Missouri libraries. This way, all of our students and faculty have access to a wider range of materials.


More journals, with more back issues; suggestions to fill more of the shelves in the journal area; requests for student input into journal subscriptions

--We have more than 1300 current print journal subscriptions and 40,000 bound journal volumes. Many of the bound journals on the lower level of the library have complete runs of the title going back to the first issue. Through our online databases and paper subscriptions, the library has the majority of the core journals needed to support the curriculum.


Each fall we work with the faculty to evaluate our current journal subscriptions and consider new titles, employing usage statistics to help with these decisions. When we have electronic access to a journal via a database or a publisher subscription, we evaluate whether we need access both electronically and in paper. Like many academic libraries, we struggle with the high costs of print and electronic journal subscriptions, and we attempt to get the best possible value from our materials budget. We welcome student suggestions for new journal subscriptions.


To help you find specific journals in our print and electronic collection, we have a Journal/Magazine/Newspaper List. We have also added Article Linker software to facilitate linking from one database to another. If the database you are using doesn't have the full-text you need, it may have an Article Linker icon; try that and you will be directed to the full-text if it is available in another database. When we do not subscribe to a journal in print or online, we can request the articles you need from another library. This service is free and available to all students, faculty, and staff.


In terms of open shelves, we built the new library to allow for 20 years of growth using standard shelves. The collection grows each year and we will use the empty shelving for expansion.


Larger selection of updated videos, DVDs; requests to replace more VHS titles with DVD

--At around 11,000 videos and DVDs, the A/V collection is one of the fastest growing parts of the library's collections, and it is the most heavily used segment. We work closely with the faculty in all of the departments to purchase A/V materials to support the curriculum. Whenever possible, we try to add DVDs, but there are some subject areas in which the content is still only available in VHS. For high-demand titles currently in the collection, we replace VHS with DVD when available. If there are particular films you would like in DVD format, please let us know.


Fewer feature films and more educational videos

--The popular films in our collection have been requested by and donated by the School of Communications and other departments to support the curriculum. Many courses use these to study film making and the film industry.


Left-leaning bias in the collection

--The library collection contains books that address different aspects of issues with differing sympathies and approaches. If you need help navigating our material, use our Ask a Librarian service. Your question will be forwarded to a librarian subject specialist. If you have suggestions of specific titles to purchase, please let us know.


More classic literature

--We have been reviewing classic literature in the library and replacing titles as needed, and we will continue to do so. We are interested in specific title suggestions from students, faculty or staff.


More contemporary fiction and best-selling fiction and non-fiction

--The library collects recognized literary fiction and award-winning works that support the curriculum. To support leisure reading, in 2009 we subscribed to a service offering leased best-sellers. These books were available on shelving in the first floor lobby as the "Revolving Reads" collection. After finding that the selection offered by the leasing service was too limited, in fall 2009 we allocated a portion of our materials budget to purchasing best-selling fiction and non-fiction. The best-sellers will continue to be located in the first floor lobby, and the collection will be renamed "Popular Reading." Also in fall 2009, we began promoting our popular reading collection, as well as popular movies, games, and audiobooks, by operating a "bookmobile" at various locations on campus.


Another option for obtaining leisure reading materials is borrowing through the MOBIUS system, which includes two public library systems in addition to 50+ academic libraries. Also, students living on campus may apply for a library card at the public library several blocks away.


Add current textbooks

--Academic libraries usually do not add textbooks, since they need to be updated very often, depending on the subject, and are intended to be purchased for use by students.


Books not on shelves, including Sally Mann books

--If you are unable to locate library materials, please ask at the front desk or the Reference Desk. We will try to help you locate them and we will initiate our search and replace process if necessary. A couple of times a year we go through our missing books and try to replace them, either with the same title or a similar title on that topic. Two of the missing Sally Mann books were reordered. The other missing item, "Last Measure", is an announcement of an exhibition of her work, What Remains. Emerson Library does own What Remains, and it is on the shelf. We will work with the faculty on adding additional photographers and more works of those already in the collection. If you have any ideas for other titles, please let us know.


More current art books

--Specific suggestions for new art titles are welcomed. The library added over 160 art titles the last budget year. New titles in the 'N' call number range that covers art can be browsed online on the library website via the New Titles link under the section "What's New" on the home page. An annual list of new art titles is also available from the art liaison librarian.


Requests for art magazines like Bust, Readymade and Fiberarts

-The library added a print subscription to the periodical Fiberarts. Although this title is available online in a library database, the print issues satisfy the user's request for print which offers a better presentation of illustrations and photos in the magazine. During the annual periodical selection process, the library considered but decided not to add the consumer periodicals Bust and Readymade. Both offer selected content on their website.


Larger selection of art videos

--The faculty in the art department will be working closely with the art liaison to add materials needed by the art department to support the curriculum. Student suggestions are welcome and will be considered for purchase by the library.


More comprehensive, up-to-date materials in political science, international relations, and history

--The teaching faculty and library liaison for History, Politics & International Relations are working to strengthen this collection. We are evaluating the collection by comparing it against collections supporting similar programs at other institutions; as needed, we will purchase core and classic titles to fill gaps in the collection. We also welcome suggestions for specific titles.


Suggestion to add a journal on group therapy

--We would be glad to look into adding more journals on the topic of group therapy. We will contact the faculty in the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department and ask for their recommendations. If you know of any specific journal or book titles you would like to see us offer, please e-mail any titles to the appropriate liaison (see current list of liaison assignments). When we consider journals to add, we look at a number of factors including price, overlap with titles we already own, and coverage of title in the databases we offer.


More updated videos on counseling; videos with live examples of family systems counseling, including those dealing with solution focused family counseling and strategic family counseling and the work of Murray Bowen, Salvador Minuchin, Karl Whitaker, James Framo, Albert Ellis

-- The Behavioral and Social Sciences department has added numerous videos and DVDs on counseling over the years. We will contact the faculty and make them aware of interest in purchasing videos involving the therapists and methods listed. Please send specific suggestions for purchase or updating to the appropriate liaison (see current list of liaison assignments). 


More counseling resources

--We have access to counseling resources through several means. For books, ebooks, and videos/DVDs in our library collection, you can search our library catalog on the library's website. (For those at extended campuses, you may request items to be shipped to you. See our webpage on requesting materials.)


Numerous online books in the area of psychology and counseling are available through PsycBooks, one of the databases we offer via the library's website. PsycBooks has the full-text of many books published by the American Psychological Association as well as selected classics published in decades past.


To find articles, you can search another APA database on our psychology database page. PsycInfo covers over 2000 journals as well as books, dissertations, and other miscellaneous materials. Since psychology and counseling can intersect with so many different subject areas, we also offer databases in the areas of sociology, anthropology, history, education, nursing and medicine, the arts and sciences, and business. In all, we have over 125 databases that provide information for practically any research area.

If you have questions, please contact a Research librarian at 314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279 or by clicking on "Help" on our home page. This link will take you to our Ask a Librarian service where you can e-mail us a question. We also have a number of tutorials, including a Counseling @ Webster University Library page.

More international magazines and newspapers

--When possible, we prefer to have electronic access for magazines and newspapers, since we can reach more Webster users. Check our Journal/Magazine/Newspaper List to see if we have the titles you are seeking. We welcome suggestions, so if we don't have online access to the title you need, please let us know.


More literary journals

--The library has added several literary magazines to the collection in the past few years at the request of English Department faculty. New titles added recently include Paris Review, Margie: the American Journal of Poetry, Tin House Magazine, McSweeney's and Zoetrope. Suggestions for specific titles are welcome and will be considered with all new periodical requests this fall during the annual library review of journal subscriptions.


Suggestion to purchase more medical print journals, such as Brain or the Journal of Neurochemistry

--Our biggest obstacle to obtaining more medical journals is the cost. (A subscription to Brain costs $1116 and to Journal of Neurochemistry costs $4369.) Many years we only have a few thousand dollars for new subscriptions in all disciplines. We currently have access to over 4000 medical journals in print and in full-text online. We will include these suggestions during the journal review this spring. In the meantime, if you need articles from these journals or any other journals not in our collection, we can request them for you from another library at no charge to you; requested articles usually arrive in 5-7 business days.


Increase selection of materials in Spanish

--The liaison for International Languages and Cultures works actively with the ILC faculty, adding many titles (in several formats) in relevant languages (Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, etc.) each year. We also appreciate specific suggestions.


More current business, management, leadership, strategy A/V materials

--Some of the older training videos and DVDs are not available in updated editions, and many of these are considered classics. We add many business videos and DVDs each year, and we will continue working with the faculty to add more A/V to support the business programs. Specific suggestions are welcome.


More updated documentaries on human rights and development issues

--Some of the titles on DVD we have added lately on human rights include: Iraq in Fragments; Ghosts of Abu Ghraib; When the Levees Broke; After Stonewall; War Made Easy; Reel Bad Arabs; Islam and the West; View from a Grain of Sand; My Country, My Country; Jaz¯irah-yi ¯ahan¯i [Iron Island]; and The Enemy Within. If there are additional titles you think we should purchase, please let us know.


More updated music CDs; more classic rock

--The music liaison is working with the Music Department to add additional materials to the collection. We have recently added online subscriptions to Naxos Music Library (primarily classical music) and Naxos Music Library Jazz. These two online resources add nearly 100,000 music tracks to our collection. As with the rest of our library's collection, we focus on supporting Webster's curriculum. The Music Department primarily focuses on classical music, jazz, and world music. The library, therefore, collects recordings mostly in these areas. Although it would be nice to have recordings in other genres, we owe it to the students and faculty to represent the areas of their study as fully as possible; not having an unlimited budget, we are not free to go beyond these parameters.


More unabridged books on tape

--We are looking at unabridged books on CD and other formats. We will expand this collection as we receive requests and funding.


More TV shows

--- The library maintains a collection of television programs and series. This collection includes documentaries and PBS programs, as well as award-winning cable and network television series and movies. We will work with the faculty and add more programs as requested.


Updated Curriculum materials

--The Curriculum Library has a current and historical collection of children's literature, including fiction and non-fiction. Many new books and other resources, including major award winners, are added each year. Although textbooks are not a major focus of this collection, we are working with the faculty and publishers to add some current K-12 textbooks. We retain the old editions of some textbook sets for historical reasons and as a basis for comparison of what was taught at different times.


Larger ebook selection

--We have access to over 300,000 Ebsco eBooks. These books can be searched directly through eBook Collection (formerly NetLibrary). We also have collections of electronic reference books through Gale, PsycBooks, and ABC-CLIO. We are committed to adding more ebooks, and are evaluating other ebook vendors including Safari Books and ebrary.


Request for more broadway and musical theatre scores; more plays and vocal scores

--The library liaison to the Theatre & Dance Department is working with the new director for musical theatre to select new musical vocal scores for the collection. As we evaluate our collections, we will look at all of these areas and work with the faculty on strengthening these collections. Also note that not all our plays are in play script format. They may be published in collections or in book format, so be sure to search the library catalog for plays. The library also collects the following annual series titles with new play offerings by year: Best Plays of [year] (Limelight Editions); The Humana Festival [year]: The Complete Plays (Smith & Kraus); Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of [year] (Smith & Kraus); Best American Short Plays (Applause Theatre Books); New Playwrights: Best Plays of [year] (Smith & Kraus). We have also made it easier to find the plays in these collections by adding the individual play titles to the catalog.


Online resources & technology

Library website

User interface issues

--Several users noted that they found the library's website difficult to navigate, not user-friendly, and in need of better organization. The library is researching ways to make the website interface more user-friendly. We welcome specific suggestions for improvement.


Help using the library's website

--Comments indicated a need for assistance using the library's website. A number of brief tutorials are available from the home page using the Find Tutorials, etc. link.


Web pages require multiple logins

--Respondents mentioned that it can be cumbersome and confusing to have to log in separately to resources such as databases and eReserves. We are working on this problem and anticipate being able to streamline login procedures sometime in the future.


Difficulties accessing the library's website and site home pages from extended campuses

--For access problems, we suggest contacting the extended campus office to see if there are any technical problems at the location, or you can contact the library toll free at 800-985-4279.


Link suggestions

--Survey respondents suggested adding specific links to the website:

  • Links to the catalogs or websites of the international campus libraries. (We will look into this.)
  • More prominent link to the How to Video Series. (We have added a "Research guides & tutorials" link on the home page, which goes to a page that includes the video series.)
  • Academic Search Premier on the Education Databases page as a Core Article Database. (This has been done.)
  • Add links for the online encyclopedia and the Oxford English Dictionary to the home page. (While these are excellent sources, we have elected not to add links for individual databases to the home page in order to keep the home page as clean and uncluttered as possible. They are included on the database pages via the "Reference (Encyclopedias, etc.)" link.)


Requests for more information on databases

--Brief descriptions for each database are given on our specific subject pages (e.g. Business & Finance databases) and descriptions for all of our databases are given on our Alphabetical List of Databases page.


Need help finding specific articles using a citation

--To find specific articles, use the Journal/Magazine/Newspaper List linked from our main database page (from the library's home page, click on "Articles/Databases").


Questions about Article Linker

--Survey responses indicated that users are unclear about the meaning of the "Article Linker" link in database results lists. When a database does not have full-text for an article, you can follow the Article Linker link to see if the library has access to the full-text through one of its other databases or in its print collection. We have modified the Article Linker results screen to indicate more clearly whether we subscribe to the content you're trying to access. Unfortunately we can't afford to subscribe to as many journals as we would like. If we don't have an article you need, you may request that we find a copy for you through other means. To do so, go to the library's home page and under "How do I...", click "Request books or articles".


Online APA guide differs from the 5th edition

--The 5th edition is unfortunately not available online in its entirety. We have links to two APA "cheat sheets" that are based on the 5th edition. We have also added a license to the portion of the APA guidelines that is available online, the APA Style Guide to Electronic References. For more information on APA's style guide, check the APA website.


Online databases

Problems searching the databases

--Comments indicated that users sometimes experience problems navigating the databases to find articles. We are always happy to help you use the databases to find articles for your research. Reference librarians will walk students through their research in a one-on-one in-person session, on the phone (314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279), or through our Ask a Librarian service. In addition, a number of brief tutorials are available from the home page using the Research guides & tutorials link. We are researching ways to make article searching more friendly, and we hope to be able to purchase a new database and catalog search interface which will simplify and enhance searching.

Advanced search capabilities needed

--We appreciate any suggestions that might assist us with improving our search interfaces. Many of the databases do have extensive limiting features including date limits, Boolean searching, and specialized search fields.


Help choosing search terms

--Sometimes the trickiest part of a research project is determining the terms to use. If you find a record for an article that is relevant to your research, you can use its subject headings and terms to help you zero in on a topic. The Research librarians are able to assist you with subject headings and terminology. We can do that on the phone (314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279), through our Ask a Librarian service, or in person.


"Articles/Databases" page is not well-organized

--We have redesigned our Articles/Databases page based on the feedback we have received from survey respondents.


Request for notification when database subscriptions are discontinued

--When we discontinue access to databases, we attempt to notify everyone in the Webster University community by posting messages on the library's website, sending emails to University lists, and notifying site directors.


Technical difficulties

--Survey respondents mentioned experiencing problems with links that do not work and with expired database subscriptions. If you experience problems, please contact the Research librarians at 314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279, or use our Ask a Librarian service. We will work to resolve the problem and to help you complete your research.


More full-text

--We received numerous requests for more full-text in the databases, as well as comments that interlibrary loan can take too long for people in 8- or 9-week classes. When viewing an article citation, be sure to look all the way down the screen; many times the abstract comes first and the full-text is available at the end of the abstract. If not, follow an Article Linker link if one appears on the citation; this will lead you to the full-text if we have it in another database. If we don't have access to an article online or in print, we can usually borrow it for you in less than a week. We can assist you with searching or ordering materials; please call us at 314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279, stop by the Reference Desk, or use our Ask a Librarian service.


Each spring, in coordination with the faculty, library liaisons review our database subject coverage and full-text availability, and we will keep the requests for more full-text in mind during that process. We attempt to add as many full-text databases as possible to support the curriculum. For the 2009/2010 school year, we were able to add 25 new databases.


Expanded date coverage of journals in databases

--Date coverage of journals will vary depending on the database. When possible, we subscribe to databases with complete date coverage for the journals they offer. Due to financial constraints and special arrangements between databases and journal publishers, not every journal in a database will have complete date coverage. We take requests for additional date coverage into account during our annual database review process in the spring.


Request to add Journal of Technology and Teacher Education online

--We added a print subscription to Journal of Technology and Teacher Education in 2008.


Concern about discontinuing Infotrac subscription

--The Infotrac database had a great deal of overlapping coverage with another database we subscribe to, Academic Search Premier, which adds increasing amounts of journal coverage each year. We could not justify the expense of retaining both databases. Upon comparing the two, we determined that Academic Search Premier had a superior interface and other searching features, so a decision was made to discontinue our Infotrac subscription.


Request for complete full text of the New York Times

--We have online access to the full-text of the New York Times from its first issue in 1851.


Difficulty finding peer-reviewed articles in ERIC and Ebsco

--Please ask a Reference librarian to help you locate peer-reviewed articles. To access peer-reviewed articles in ERIC, scroll down the main search page, where you will see the "Peer reviewed" option, which you should check. A little further down, next to "Journal or Document", you can select "journal articles". In Ebsco, you can also check the "Peer reviewed" option to access peer-reviewed articles.


Suggestion to add free online business magazines such as Business Weekly

--When free online journals support the curriculum, we are happy to add them to the library catalog and to the Journal/Magazine/Newspaper List upon request from students, faculty, or staff. Please provide specific information about the resource, including the URL if possible, so we may determine if it supports the curriculum. There are several resources with the name Business Weekly, and we are uncertain which one was requested.


Greater coverage of JSTOR, especially in counseling and psychology

--We added JSTOR modules II and III in 2007 to fill in subject areas not already covered. We review databases each spring; during our current review in spring 2010, we are considering adding JSTOR module I. This decision will be made by looking at all databases proposed during this cycle, determining what needs to be added to support Webster University curricula, and prioritizing those needs based on our 2010-2011 budget.


Expanded social science database offerings

--We have added some new databases related to the social sciences, including AnthroSource, the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography, SocIndex, PsycArticles, Counseling and Therapy in Video, and PsycBooks. In addition, we now offer JSTOR's Arts & Sciences II and III collections, which have full-text of numerous journals in the social sciences.


Requests for improved coverage of business-related subjects such as behavior management, business organizational security, and human resources management; request to subscribe to Hoover's online

--Of the 144 databases available on the library's website, 33 directly support the curriculum of Webster's School of Business & Technology (SBT). Ten more databases, including PsycInfo and Ebsco's eBook Collection (with 300,000 eBooks), contain significant amounts of related, supporting content. Collectively these 43 databases provide access to the full-text of over 10,000 (out of a total of 27,000) unique periodical titles in business and management. These databases also provide business financials, stock and investing reports, company and industry ratios, practice guidelines and legal materials, company directories, business valuation and merger statistics, and international business and marketing country studies and statistics.


In Fall 2009 the library added the ScienceDirect Behavioral & Social Sciences collection. This 300+ title journal database significantly enhances our titles in business, management, and organizational behavior, as well as the related social sciences like psychology. We also added the online version of the Protection of Assets Manual which includes security management practice guidelines, industry standards, theory, concepts, and solutions. Many of the eBooks we've added to our eBook Collection service in the past few years are on management topics including organizational behavior, human resources, and security management. In addition to the significant periodical and book content, the library subscribes to CCH IntelliConnect which provides CCH newsletters, practice guidelines and cases in human resources and health care management. CCH's producer, Wolters Kluwer, made significant interface changes to the database to make it more browseable and user-friendly.


Hoover's Company Records is available via the ABI/Inform database. In addition, the Business & Company Resource Center and Lexis/Nexis Academic's business search will provide a wealth of integrated company data from a single company name search.


Many of our survey respondents mentioned problems with the copy/print system, including having to pay $0.50 for a copy card and having to pay to print at the library when it's free elsewhere on campus. To help relieve some of the cost burden on students, in January 2008, the University began partially subsidizing copy/print for students by issuing each enrolled student a card with 125 free prints or copies. In Fall 2008, we issued each enrolled student a card with 250 free prints or copies. In fall 2009, the library's copy/print contract expired. It was replaced by free printing and pay copying.



Requests for additional computers

--We have added an additional 8 computers on the Lower Level, for a total of 16 computers in that location. The Lower Level computers are often not in use, even when all of our computers in the Ecommons and Cyber Café are. We have added signs in the Ecommons and Cyber Café directing users to the Lower Level when other areas are full. We have made our eClassroom computers for available for use by students when the room is not being used for a class. We also received a request for Macs. We have two Macs in the Cyber Café in the section closest to Edgar Road.


Requests for additional scanners

--We have two scanners--one in the Listening/Viewing Area, and one on the second floor of the Cyber Café. We have improved our documentation to highlight the locations of these scanners, and we have put signs at each with directions to the other. In addition, we will monitor usage of the two scanners to determine if we need to purchase more.


Equipment problems

--Respondents reported problems with the computer mice in Ecommons. We're happy to report that in summer 2007 we were able to replace all of the Ecommons computer mice. Respondents also noted that headphones are often broken. We have begun testing all of our headphones weekly.


Wireless access

--A request was made for wireless access throughout the library. We currently have wireless access on all floors of the library except the Lower Level; wireless will be added to the Lower Level later.


Additional software

--We received requests to install SPSS and Firefox in the library. The library's management team is discussing these requests. We received a request to install Adobe CS on the Macs, and we have added it to one of the Macs. In addition, we received requests for software that we already have installed in some locations, including Photoshop and Illustrator. We are studying how we can improve our documentation and signage to make it clearer what we have installed, and where.


Restrictions on computers

--We received a couple of requests to remove the restrictions on computers to allow software installs, operating system configuration changes, and saving to the desktop. The library's computers are configured to meet research needs, including database access and word processing. The restrictions on them help keep them stable and reliable. We allow saving to a network space, called the H: drive. This space is protected even in the event of a reboot or computer crash. Students can also save to flash drives, CD-Rs, or floppy disks. Blank CD-Rs may be purchased for $1 at the front desk and in the Cyber Café vending machine; blank floppy disks may be purchased for $0.50 at the front desk.


Restrictions on book stacks computers

--We received a comment that the restrictions on book stacks computers prevent verifying journal citations, which is particularly problematic when using the bound journals in the lower level. We initially imposed the restrictions because the book stacks computers were being heavily used for email, and were not available for searching the catalog. We are now allowing access to the library's website and journal databases as well as the catalog, but are continuing to block e-mail on these computers.


Problems using laptop connections

--Users reported problems plugging laptop cables into library tables, and noted that cables going from tables to the floor are occasionally unplugged. We have begun checking table wiring weekly; if problems are noted, please report them to the front desk.


Policies and services

Borrowing rules

Request to allow online/extended students to borrow videos/DVDs

--Students, faculty, and staff anywhere in the United States may use the online catalog to request videos and DVDs from our collections.

Request to allow users at campuses outside the U.S. to borrow videos, DVDs, and books

--While media formatting issues and the costs of shipping currently prevent us from offering this service, we are continuing to explore options which may allow us to provide access to these materials in the future.

Checkout periods and fines for videos/DVDs/CDs

--We received several requests to increase the checkout periods for A/V materials such as videos, DVDs, and CDs, as well as comments that the $0.50/day fine is too high. The library develops its collection of DVDs and videotapes to support the curriculum taught at all of our sites in the U.S. We created the three day circulation period to help ensure that a heavily used collection is available to the maximum number of users. The $0.50/day overdue fee we charge is a small incentive to return the item on time. One may avoid incurring overdue fines by renewing online, over the phone (314-968-6952 or 800-985-4279), or in person. A/V items may be renewed up to two times if they have not been requested by another user. In order to increase awareness of the three day circulation period, we have begun applying stickers bearing information about circulation period and renewal options to the front of the cases of our A/V items.

Extended campus students, faculty, and staff will find the due date of each A/V item listed on the sheet of instructions which Emerson Library staff members include with each package we ship to an extended campus user. This due date includes shipping times to and from the home campus and allows the user to keep the requested item at least as long as a home campus user would get to keep it. Those same instructions also contain information about how one may renew the item or otherwise contact Emerson Library staff for help.

Request for better access to journals and magazines such as Guitar Player via checkout or duplicate subscriptions

--Journals and magazines do not circulate because we need to keep all of the issues available so that students and faculty can access them, and purchasing duplicate subscriptions can be very expensive. We do have photocopy machines available in the Lower Level, in the Ecommons, and on the second floor of the Cyber Café. We are looking into better access to Guitar Player.


Ease of use of eReserves

--Users commented that eReserves is not user-friendly and requires too many clicks to get to materials. We encourage our students, faculty, and staff to please share their ideas about how we can make our eReserves service more user-friendly. St. Louis area users who need help using eReserves can contact the front desk at 314-968-6952 or the Research Desk at 314-968-6950. Users at our extended sites can call 800-985-4279 or send an e-mail to circ@webster.edu.


Delays in posting and problems viewing eReserves content

--Survey respondents mentioned that materials do not always appear on eReserves in time for assignments, and that sometimes portions of eReserves content are missing or not viewable. Both library staff and faculty create, maintain, and update eReserves course pages. Library staff members fill requests to create and add content to eReserves course pages in the order in which we receive them, and perform quality control checks on the materials which we add to courses. We are working with faculty to make sure that we're taking every possible step to catch and correct problems. Any student who discovers an omission or other technical error in an eReserves course page should report the problem to his or her instructor and seek help from library staff by contacting us at either the front desk at 314-968-6952 or the Research Desk at 314-968-6950. Users at our extended sites should call 800-985-4279 or send an e-mail to circ@webster.edu.

MOBIUS, ILL, and Document Delivery

Long waits to receive books through MOBIUS

--Books which you request from MOBIUS libraries take an average of 3-4 working days to arrive if the books are available. Your request may be delayed if the item you request is already checked out and your request goes through as a hold. We recommend checking the availability of MOBIUS items before placing a request; if all copies of a title in MOBIUS are checked out, we are happy to obtain the material for you via interlibrary loan. In addition, based on survey feedback, we have developed a process which allows us to review our users' requests for books from other MOBIUS libraries to make sure that these orders are filled in a timely manner. When we find that a user has requested a copy of a book which is both currently checked out and unavailable from any other MOBIUS library, we will send an e-mail to the user offering them the option of waiting for the checked out copy to become available via MOBIUS or ordering a copy of the book through interlibrary loan.


Overdue and missing books in MOBIUS

--Overdue books and books labeled as "Missing" in MOBIUS have caused frustration for our users. All libraries do work diligently to find missing books and get people to return borrowed items on time, but there will still be some overdue and missing items in the MOBIUS catalog. You can request these from other libraries using traditional interlibrary loan instead.


Never received notification to pick up MOBIUS book

--We send an e-mail notification to each user's Webster or Eden e-mail account each time a requested item is ready to pick up. If you are expecting books from MOBIUS, please be sure to check your Webster or Eden email. You may also check on the status of a requested item by viewing your account online, calling 314-968-6952, or asking in person at the front desk.


Request to borrow audiovisual materials from other MOBIUS libraries

--While this service does not currently exist, the member libraries of the MOBIUS consortium are considering it.


Long waits for interlibrary loan books and articles

--Books requested via interlibrary loan take an average of 10 days to arrive, and copies of journal articles requested via interlibrary loan take an average of 5 days to arrive. Book and article requests require a number of steps on the part of Emerson library staff, and on the part of the staff of the lending library. In addition, most books requested via interlibrary loan come from outside of Missouri (since most books from Missouri libraries would be delivered via the MOBIUS service). Geographic distance of the library from us as well as the method which the owning library chooses to ship the book to us can influence the amount of time it takes for a book to arrive.


Request to allow alumni to use Interlibrary loan

--Costs associated with this service prohibit us from offering it to our alumni. Interlibrary loan is generally available from your local public library. Each Webster Alumnus is eligible to receive a free library card which he or she may use to check out books belonging to the Webster-Eden Library System.


Questions about the differences between MOBIUS and interlibrary loan, and when and how to use each one

--Books requested via MOBIUS generally arrive much more quickly than books requested via interlibrary loan, and they may be checked out for a longer period. Therefore, for users in Missouri, if a book is available in the MOBIUS catalog, we recommend requesting it via MOBIUS. Books that are not available in the MOBIUS catalog may be requested via interlibrary loan. Journal articles may also be requested. For more information about obtaining books and journal articles, see the relevant sections on our How Do I...page, stop by the Research Desk or front desk, or call the front desk at 314-968-6952 or the Research Desk at 314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279 and we will assist you with these services.


Request for longer circulation periods for MOBIUS and interlibrary loan books

--While Webster students may check out books belonging to the Webster-Eden Library System for six weeks at a time, they are limited to checking out books belonging to other MOBIUS libraries for three weeks at a time. This is a MOBIUS-wide policy which aims to balance statewide access with the needs of the local users at each library. One may, however, renew each MOBIUS book twice, if another person has not requested it. For interlibrary loan materials, the lending library sets the circulation time, and we have no control over that circulation period. The library staff is able to request that the lending library renew the item for an additional period of time. This is not, however, something which our users can do on their own.


Request for confirmation e-mail when ordering materials online

--Based on this feedback, we have updated the messages which one sees after placing a request for library materials. Users will now see a message which contains more detailed information about approximately how long it will take to fill the order, how we will contact them if we cannot fill the order and how we will notify them when the requested item is ready. We encourage our extended campus users to please contact us by e-mail at docdel@webster.edu or phone at 800-985-4279 with questions about the status of their requests.


Question about how one will be notified when a requested item is available

--We send a courtesy e-mail notification to a user's Webster e-mail account when each requested item is ready for pickup.


Extended/online students with problems borrowing books and videos from the home campus

--The Access Services staff at Emerson Library currently supplies copies of books, book chapters, journal articles, DVDs, and videos to eligible extended campus users. We process and fill each request for an item which we own and which is available within 2 business days of receiving it. If the item is checked out or otherwise unavailable, library staff will contact the user and work to find a suitable replacement. Users will find detailed information about these services by visiting the library's website and searching for their appropriate section under "Information and Services for Webster Campuses". They may also get help by calling our toll free phone number 800-985-4279 during open hours, or by sending an e-mail to docdel@webster.edu. The library also offers online training modules, the How to Video Series; the "Getting Books and Articles from Emerson Library" section provides instruction on this topic. We are working to simplify the process of requesting and obtaining materials from the library by exploring options such as enabling users at our extended campuses to use the library catalog to order library materials via the catalog and adding more ebooks to our collections.


Library instruction

Help using the library and its services

--Check out our research guides and tutorials, which are linked from the library's home page. Our Research librarians can walk you through your research in a one-on-one in-person session, on the phone (314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279), or via the e-mail Ask a Librarian service.


Faculty training in using the library

--New adjunct faculty members participate in a tutorial acquainting them with various University departments, including the library. Additional training information is available on our research guides and tutorials page . We provide library information and updates to faculty members via Shop Talk, an Academic Affairs online newsletter, and we participate in regional faculty meetings, the worldwide directors meeting, and site visits to extended campuses as well as faculty meetings and orientations at the St. Louis campuses. For additional training or information, please call the Reference Desk at 314-968-6950 or 800-985-4279.


Tours for employees during new employee orientation or a Brown Bag Lunch

--We will work with Human Resources to include a tour of the library for new employees, and we will look into having a Brown Bag session featuring the library.




Buildings and facilities

Temperature and lighting

--We received a comment that the building is too cold, and that there are lights burned out in the study rooms. We attempt to monitor both temperature and lighting, but please let someone at the front desk know if the temperature needs adjusting or you notice lights out.


Study room policies

--Comments indicated that group study rooms are frequently used by individuals. In addition, some students do not know how to reserve study rooms. We post sheets in each room indicating when that room is reserved, and we also have posted information on how to reserve a room, as well as which rooms are suitable for groups of various sizes. For information about our study rooms, and to reserve a room, see our online room reservation page.



In response to requests for increased hours, the library will be open additional hours during the fall semester on a trial basis. We're now closing at 8pm instead of 6pm on Fridays, and we're open 8am-8pm on Saturday instead of 10am-6pm. (See a list of library hours.) This is a pilot project, so stop by one of our service desks and let us know what you think about the new hours!

Noise and disruption in the library

Several respondents mentioned problems with disruptive behavior in the library, particularly with high school students. We are now requiring high school students to obtain a day pass to use the library, which should help resolve these problems. Please report disruptive behavior to one of the service desks.

Closing procedures

A request was made to not begin flashing and turning off selected lights more than 15 minutes before the library closes. We flash lights to notify our users that the library will soon close. We chose this method because it is the least disruptive and most effective means of notifying everyone in the building at once. Library staff will not start the closing notice process sooner than 15 minutes before the library closes, and we have modified our procedures to not turn off any lights until closing time.

Other comments

Damaged A/V materials

--The library staff inspects each CD and DVD and its case when it's returned. If the CD or DVD appears dirty or scratched, we attempt to clean and repair it, and if the case is broken we replace it. If you have any problems using a CD or DVD, please let the front desk staff know.



--Comments about Jazzman's (the name of former coffee bar) indicated that users would like it to have better hours and faster service, and a better vending machine, and for it to accept the meal plan and credit/debit cards. Users also mentioned that it is too expensive and the coffee is not good. We shared the comments regarding the quality of service, costs and quality of food and drinks, and hours of operation with Sodexho, which operates the Jazzman's concession in the Cyber Café. In 2009, Sodexho changed the coffee bar to Kaldi's, which offers better quality products. Kaldi's now accepts meal plan and credit/debit cards and has been experimenting with the hours of opening to find the right balance that provided sufficient access while remaining economically feasible.


Other Webster services

--Respondents mentioned problems with services not provided by the library, including online classes and Connections. The library staff meets regularly with other instructional support staff, and we will share these comments with staff from the appropriate departments.


Lack of parking near the library

--The spaces closest to the library are reserved for drivers who have disabled tags and for short-term delivery parking, but the parking garage and several lots are a short walk away. If you need to drop off materials, you can pull in near the front door and leave your flashers on while returning materials.


Safety concerns when alone in study areas

--The safety of our users is very important to us. Public Safety conducts frequent walkthroughs of the entire library building. Please report any incidents which occur in the library immediately to the front desk staff or to Public Safety.


Site libraries in the U.S.

--Users commented that their site libraries do not have much to offer. Though some campuses in the U.S. may offer limited on-site library resources due to agreements with their hosting institutions (e.g. military base libraries), library support to U.S. sites comes mainly through the home campus library. Check out our Information and Services for Webster U.S. campuses page or call us at 314-968-6952 for help obtaining information and materials.


Campus libraries overseas

--Users at overseas campuses noted that their libraries are small and have older collections. We have passed your comments concerning the campus library collections on to the librarians at those sites, where efforts to expand and improve the collections are already underway.


Service desks and departmental liaisons

--We received nearly 70 compliments on library staff. (See our Kudos page for compliments on staff and the library.) We received six comments that noted concerns with staff. We strive for 100% satisfaction with our customer service, and six comments is six too many. We realize that we are ambassadors for not just the library but the University as a whole. We continuously train our staff to provide polite and professional service to all of our users and we appreciate comments such as these so we can address any issues appropriately.


Wait times at the Research Desk

--We want to make sure that everyone receives Research help in a timely fashion, and we are looking at ways to limit the amount of time users have to wait at the Research Desk.


Survey privacy

--A user noted that when filling in the survey, the responses were already filled in, including the previous respondent's name and contact information. We are investigating ways to protect the privacy of survey respondents, and will test these methods before we administer our next survey.


Thanks to all who participated in the survey!