In fall of 2019, the Library sent an email survey to University faculty who both teach and conduct research to find out how they use the Library. The survey, which went out before the COVID-19 pandemic, reflects perspectives and practices of research and teaching in that seemingly long-ago world.
The local survey overlapped the national Ithaka S+R survey from 2018, in which faculty nationwide responded to questions on topics such as how they discover and access materials in the Library and their view of the role played by the libraries in support of faculty members’ needs. The main reason for conducting a local survey was to discover how UVA faculty view the University Library in comparison to how faculty responded in the national survey.
The survey generated responses from 335 faculty members (11% of all those contacted) to an array of probing questions about faculty perspectives on research and teaching and what their experiences with the Library have been like in the following areas:
- Scholarly Communication, covering valued publishing services and issues of copyright and article deposit.
- Material Types and Formats, exploring various types of materials for research and teaching, such as formal publications, primary source materials, print and digital journals and monographs.
- Discovery & Access, taking stock of how faculty members search for known items and the value of mechanisms for gaining access to research literature.
Several important takeaways for librarians include the need for outreach to new faculty about open educational resources and focused outreach to faculty who find that open publishing would be a “very useful service” in their disciplines. In general, UVA faculty members have a more favorable view of their library than faculty at peer institutions!
For more details, see the University of Virginia Faculty Survey 2019 Analytical Memo and the UVA Library Assessment page.