Officials in charge of the Andrew Bouwhuis Library are seeking student feedback on recent changes to the library operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as reduced hours.
Library Director Kristine Kasbohm and Assessment and Instruction Coordinator Pat Coward said Wednesday that they have launched a survey for students to gauge their thoughts on changes to the library and what they would like to see going forward.
“One of the questions on the survey is, ‘What are you missing from the library?’” Kasbohm said. Students may voice their concerns about hours, reduced staffing, coronavirus protocols and so forth.
“Those are the conversations we want to have with students. We want to hear from students; obviously, I cannot make the decisions based on one person’s say-so,” she added.
The library has been running on a reduced staff this semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The remaining staff are working to maintain as many services as possible, such as fulfilling inter-library loan requests or booking librarians for class instruction, but the reductions have led to hours being cut, most notably on Fridays.
“We had to adjust to the reduction in staff that we, like every other area in the college, took,” Kasbohm said. “Where we’re at now with opening hours is that this is the maximum that we can do.”
The library is only open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, and the library is closing before midnight every night to allow for staff to get home on the last Canisius shuttle. These decisions were made by looking at foot traffic data, Kasbohm said.
The entrance to the library is equipped with scanners that track how many individuals enter and exit the library at any given time. Officials decided to cut library hours on Fridays because of a distinct lack of foot traffic that day; however, they are open to changes.
“That’s why we do a survey, so that if the overwhelming results of the survey are ‘expand Fridays,’ the next question we would ask is if it’s ok that we reduce hours on Wednesdays or some other time,” Kasbohm said.
Coward said the library had solicited feedback earlier this semester through social media and received about 26 responses. “We’re trying to up the response rate a little bit,” she said.
Additionally, Kasbohm and Coward reported some troubles with students not following proper mask-wearing protocol in the library. They requested that students wear a mask at all times while working in the library.
“We’ve worked really hard to make the library what the students want it to be,” Kasbohm said. “We’ve worked hard to say ‘come in and use it and do whatever you want and make it your library.’”
“To now be saying we have to have restrictions and we have to wear a mask … that’s really hard for me and for all library staff to do, and I would appreciate it if students would understand that,” she said.
The survey can be accessed through a QR code or by visiting http://canisius.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dnZxXl1i2O2NprL.