McLean, Evadne and Stephen H. Dew. “Assessing the Library Needs and Preferences of Off-Campus Students: Surveying Distance Education Students, from the Midwest to the West Indies.” In The Eleventh Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Scottsdale, Arizona, May 5 -7, 2004, edited by Patrick B. Mahoney. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2004, 197-226. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 265-302.
The authors of this paper begin with a review of the literature of assessing library needs of distance students, and then compare the experiences of creating user surveys for students at each of their institutions – U of Iowa (UI) and U of the West Indies (UWI). The U of Iowa conducted surveys in 1998-99 and again in 2003. The latter survey receives much greater coverage here. UI plans to conduct another survey in 2004 to remedy some of the shortcomings of the first two surveys. The UWI survey was conducted in late 2000 as an attempt to learn more about the student population served by the Distance Librarian. Several changes and new services were implemented at UWI as a result of responses to the survey. The paper closes with a comparison of the findings from each of the institution’s surveys. The surveys questions and results for each institution are included as appendices. P. Pival.