Using Undergraduates to Improve the Library

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As Virginia Tech University Libraries transition public spaces to more user-focused, service oriented, collaborative spaces, we found it imperative to determine how students use available space, and to develop methods of garnering feedback from the undergraduate student population, which forms our primary user group. In order to better understand our users we developed the Peer Roving Assistants (Rovers) program. Undergraduate students, reporting to the Learning Commons and Assessment Librarian, conduct space observations at set times and places five days a week, taking photographs, observing how space is used, and conducting interviews with users. Using the Google Drive app for iPad, we developed data gathering tools for observational data, photograph collection, and personal interviews collection through Google Forms. The Rovers program has generated an incredible amount of useful data and photographs. The presentation will share findings about student use of library space and student attitudes towards the library in greater detail, as well as lessons learned in using Undergraduates as research assistants.



Roving services, Student workers


Hall, Monena, Assir, Rashad. Roving Service as Observational Tool: Utilizing the Undergraduates in your Library. Joint presentation at: Canadian Learning Commons Conference; 2014 June 9-11: Sherbrooke, Quebec. Retrieved from