Faculty & Staff Publications

Publication Date



Library and Information Science


Most people avoid doing qualitative research because they think it is not scientifically rigorous and requires time and lots of money. In fact, there is a lot one can do with little overhead that reaps immediate benefits for improving services and gaining unexpected valuable insights. This study uses a web redesign and assessment project to showcase some simple ways to get useful information from students.

Library web pages provide the main access point to many of the library’s services and resources, which also continue to change and accrue. Does the web site really serve students' research needs today? Where do you focus energy on needed improvements? How do you integrate new services? What resources do you need to do it? In this essay, discover how to use quick and inexpensive methods to grab student feedback in order to help revise and assess web pages and other services. Learn how to identify common issues for focused improvements. Gain insight on research deficiencies perhaps better addressed through teaching and other services. The researcher presents findings on several methods used to gain students' perspectives before a major web page redesign and after “improvements” some months later.

Document Type

Published Version


This article is the publisher-created version, also considered to be the final version or the version of record. It includes value-added elements provided by the publisher, such as copy editing, layout changes, and branding consistent with the rest of the publication.

Original Citation

Barbara Valentine
Ask them—they’ll tell you! Eliciting student perspectives to improve services.
In Declaration of Interdependence: The Proceedings of the ACRL 2011 Conference, edited by Dawn M. Mueller
2011, pages 20-34, Association of College and Research Libraries: Chicago



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