Students assess their libraries
Good university libraries are nowadays the most important sources of the required specialised literature for a particular study programme. But for some time now they have been offering more than just books and magazines to read and borrow. They have become more like information centres equipped with a range of new digital or electronic services including access to electronic magazines, research opportunities in databases and other information pools and online offers to manage user accounts. Students are very satisfied with the online services while they are clearly less satisfied with the specialised literature offer at some universities.
Meldung vor Bild: The assessment of university libraries is based on the evaluations of students from the so-called “scholarly disciplines,” as in these disciplines students are particularly dependent on a sufficient provision of scholarly literature. From the CHE-Ranking, these subjects include German Studies, English/American Studies, Romance Studies, History, Educational Science and Psychology. The data is based on interviews with around 21,000 students in these disciplines in the autumn of 2006 in the context of the present university ranking.
Almost unanimously, students gave assessments of “good” to “very good” for the new online user services of the libraries. The offer of electronic library catalogues and internet-based systems for user account administration is given a mark of 1.6, the mean score across the country. The marks given for literary research possibilities do not fall below 2.5.
Libraries are less well equipped in terms of copiers. The marks given in respect to this aspect were 3 to 5. Decisive for students, however, is the availability of the necessary specialist literature. The availability of reference books and a sufficient number of copies of these differs markedly across the country. The University of Konstanz was given a score of 1.6 points while Flensburg was given a very average 4.
Satisfaction with library opening hours differs considerably across the country.
The university libraries in Bielefeld, Konstanz, Mannheim and Tübingen come out on top overall when taking into account all aspects examined under the “library” indicator.