Skip to main content

Assessment at Niagara University Library: Polls


‚ÄčHere we report on quick surveys we do that aren't necessarily scientific, but still provide useful data.

Spring 2017 Web Poll

To encourage student participation in Library surveys, we have been offering one large prize of a $100 gift certificate. Response rates have been satisfactory. But perhaps the large prize isn't optimal. So we asked: "Imagine you were asked to complete a 10-minute online survey. Which prize incentive would make you more likely to participate."


A chance to enter  a drawing for a single large prize (such as a $100 Amazon gift card) 25 (33.3%)

A chance to enter a drawing where you have multiple chances to win a smaller prize (such as a $25 Amazon gift card)

48 (64%)
Other 2 (2.7%)

Comment: We try multiple smaller prizes next survey.


Spring 2016: Web Poll

Comment: The results are consistent with numerous other surveys we have done. The part about adding more computers doesn't align with our observation of computer use. There does seem to be enough computers overall. Perhaps they aren't clustered in the right places or students might not be aware of all the machines available to them.

Spring 2016: Web poll.

Comment: Exploring student interest in research appointments.

Fall 2015: Web poll--Which streaming video services do you use during the school year? (check all that apply)

Amazon Prime: 12.75%

Hulu+: 11.44%

Netflix: 68.3%

I don't have access to a streaming service: 6.21%

Other: 1.3%

n=306 (Multiple answers were possible)

Comment: Sometimes the Library can't obtain streaming rights to media that could still be available to subscribers of streaming services. Our goal was to learn how likely it was that students would have access to this content based on personal subscriptions. 

Fall 2015: Web poll--What would be your preferred way to receive research help from a librarian?

In Person: 64.78%

Email: 18.24%

Online Chat: 8.18%

Talking on the Telephone: 3.14%

Text Message: 2.52%

Video Call: 2.52%

Web Conferencing: 0.63%


Comment: The purpose of this poll was to get  a quick sense of user interest in video calling and web conferencing, the only two contact methods above not currently offered. There doesn't seem to be much interest.

Spring 2015--Which would you prefer?

Being able to reserve all group study rooms online:  57.58%  

Continuing with the system of writing your name on the calendar at the entrance to each room:  10.3%  

Being able to reserve some, but not all, group study rooms online:  32.12% 


The Library is considering implementing online reservations of group study rooms in the Fall of 2015, hence the poll.

Spring 2015: Web poll--do you read e-books on a smartphone or tablet?

Yes: 40.7%

No:   59.3%

Spring 2015: Web poll--is the lighting on the main floor of the the Library:

Too bright: 16.5%

Too dim: 38.2%

Just right: 45.3%


Spring--Summer 2013: Web poll--when you come to the Library alone, where do you most prefer to study?

At a computer: 62 

In a small study carrel: 40

In a booth: 36

At a big table: 30

In a comfy chair or sofa: 28

None of the above: 8

The findings are consistent with other assessments. A diversity of study space is important.

Fall 2013: Sought to answer this question: Should the newly created study area in a corner of the Library be reservable like group study rooms or should it be first-come-first-served? Methodology: Posted a tally sheet in the area and asked students to respond yes or no to this question: Should we put up a calendar that allows this area to be reserved in advance? Outcomes: Yes: 20 No:  58. This is an example of how our instinct was incorrect. We would have allowed the area to be reserved in advance had we not polled users.