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Law Library

2007 Law Library Student Survey

During the Spring 2007 semester, the Law Library conducted a survey asking students to comment on various library services we provide. Over 350 students responded, indicating what they like about the Library and what could be better. The Library is taking action to respond to each suggestion.  While we cannot publicly answer each individual student comment, below are responses to common and interesting suggestions.

Quantitative Survey Results

Year or status of students who responded:

survey07_1

Why do you come to the library?

survey07_2

Level of satisfaction with the following library services: Service at the Law Library Circulation Desks

survey07_3

Level of satisfaction with the following library services: Obtaining materials from other libraries:

survey07_4

Level of satisfaction with the following library services: Research assistance at the Wolff or Williams Libraries Reference Desk

survey07_5

Do you use the library's laptop free zone?

survey07_6

What would your perfect quiet study space consist of?

survey07_7

Library Response

In the left column are representative student comments (some are direct quotes from student others are paraphrased comments). In the right column are the Law Library's responses.

Sample Comment Library Response

Reference Services

The LiveHelp is wonderful! Thank you for providing it. It is a wonderful resource for evening students and those of us who find it difficult to visit the library.

Live chat is really helpful; saved me a couple of times at the last minute. Thanks!

We’re glad that those of you who know about LiveHelp are satisfied with it. 

If you’ve never used LiveHelp, try it out the next time you’re stuck with online research or are doing research outside of the library.  It’s available from the library’s homepage.  

I've had particularly good experiences with reference librarians. Customer service is outstanding and they usually are able to direct me to where I need to go.

 

Thanks!

Sometimes reference librarians are exceptionally helpful, but others are not.

The reference desk is staffed by librarians with many different subject specialties such as tax, environmental law, or health law.  Sometimes, we’ll need to refer you to another librarian. 

I've been hesitant to ask reference librarians for help because I don't know where the line is drawn on getting too much help....how much I'm supposed to teach myself.

Librarians are here to help you learn to do legal research and excel during your law school career. Please feel free to ask us any question. Even if you are not sure whether it’s an appropriate question, please always ask. 

A reference librarian was very helpful when I scheduled a research consultation with her for my seminar class. She showed me various sources of databases I wasn't aware could be accessed from the law library and main campus website. She also helped shape my topic and provided substantive material to get me started on my research. I was extremely pleased with her guidance

Research consultations are an ideal way to start your seminar paper.  Librarians will help you identify the sources you’ll need to consult and how to go about your research.  Consultations can also help when you’re stuck with your research. 

Website / Catalog Comments

The maps are very helpful. Glad you like them. Here is another helpful tip for finding things in the library. While using our maps for each floor look at the library's "Where Things Are Page," which will give you lots of specifics about where things are.
Love the remote access to E-Journal Finder. It is one of our favorite services too. Just remember to log in first where you see this link on E-Journal Finder's front page: "GU Law students, faculty, staff: When you are off-campus, log in here first."
The library website is quite impressive. I love that we have access to so many resources and that there are people available to explain to us how to use these resources. Thank you!
I hate having to type in my password over and over when I look at the exams on the web. There is an easier way to see the exams. If you log in to My GULLiver before you begin looking for exams, the appropriate information will be retained in your browser and you won't have to type it again to see an exam. (We have taken steps to make this information more obvious on GULLiver.)
I do much of my work off campus... Getting into databases with restricted access is sometimes difficult. When you are off campus and you want to get into a restricted database, always access it from a link that is on the library's website. A few of your options for finding the database: the Online Collection page (with annotations); and the Alphabetical Browse List or the E-Resources Search page on GULLiver.
I wish that more books were available in electronic format. The number of books available this way has been increasing in the past year. If you search the library's catalog, GULLiver, you will now find records, with links to electronic format, for the treatises in Westlaw and LexisNexis, for the "Legal Classics" titles in HeinOnline, for over 3,000 law-related books in the ebrary collection (more than 25,000 ebrary titles are available through the main campus catalog), and for over twelve hundred books in the History e-Book Project.
A full copy of the English Reports should be made available online. You are in luck. All volumes of the English Reports are available on HeinOnline. See the record for English Reports [electronic] in GULLiver to access the set.
The link to WorldCat is buried on the web site. This is an important database, and there is a link to it on a number of library pages. A prominent WorldCat button is on the front of the library's catalog, GULLiver.

I would put the link to Heinonline and some other electronic resources in a more accessible place on the website.


Could stand to have more important features be more prominently displayed.

We are working to reorganize the website and make a more compact list of commonly-requested items accessible from the homepage and possibly all pages on the library site. We're also working on a Law Library toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox, hopefully by Fall semester.
Very clunky. Not user-friendly.
Needs to be much more user friendly.
Over the summer, we're working to revamp the organization of materials on the Law Library website. We received many comments that people like our materials. We want to make sure people understand the website and that people are able to find relevant content on it.
Gulliver's interface and search features seem very out-of-date and should be updated. We are working on major enhancements to GULLiver and the Law Library website. Stay tuned for updates coming by the beginning of the fall semester.
Perhaps you should push the
library webpage more with the 1Ls so they know what is out there.
This is a good idea. We already introduce students to many library services during orientation. We'll see what we can do to distribute this information in a way that more incoming students will now about the resources on our website.
It would be nice to have direct access to the scientific journals that are available through main campus. Access to individual scientific titles is available by using E-Journal Finder and selecting the option to view "ALL." In addition, you can search for information in the ScienceDirect database, which contains more than 8 million articles from more than 2,000 peer-reviewed journals published in 24 fields of science.

Printing and Photocopies

The photocopiers and printers are sometimes jammed or out of paper when I need to use them.

Library staff checks the public printers and photocopiers daily to ensure that they are properly operating and stocked with paper, toner, and other supplies.  Because of your comments we are now checking even more often.

If you still notice a problem with the printers or photocopiers please contact either the Reference Desk or the Circulation Desk.  We will address the issue immediately.

The photocopiers ask me for a specific paper size (A4) when I just want to copy onto standard paper.

The Library changed the photocopier configuration so that all documents will automatically copy to standard size paper, alleviating the need to set a paper size.

Please provide duplex printing.

The Law Library and the IST Department are investigating the possibility of providing duplex printing in the Law Library.

Before I send something to a printer I would like to know if the printer is jammed or out of paper or toner.

If I send a print job to a malfunctioning printer I would like to be able to send it to another printer. 

The Law Library and IST are investigating using a different print queue system that would give patrons the opportunity to send jobs to an array of printers, allowing patrons to bypass a malfunctioning printer or to send output to a high-speed printer. The same system should be able to notify you if a printer is malfunctioning.

I would like cheaper printing charges.

The Law Library and IST regularly reevaluate printing costs and strive to keep it as low as possible.

Hours

The Library should be open 24 hours a day.

During exam hours the Williams Library is open 24 hours a day.  Williams Law Library is currently open 107 hours per week during the remainder of the academic year, and the Wolff Library open only a few hours less per week during the same time period.
The Library will be working over the Summer to investigate ways to equalize the hours of both library locations. 


While the Law Library would welcome the idea of extended hours, data collected when the Library maintained a 24-hour a day schedule shows that the Library has little or no use between the hours of 2:00 AM and 8:00 AM

Circulation

I don’t know how long I can borrow items from the library.

There are many different loan periods for different types of items, especially if something is on reserve.  So that you know the rules for each item you borrow, the Library has equipped both Circulation Desks with receipt printers which give the due date for each item checked out.  We encourage you to review your circulation record online at My GULLiver.  You may renew and check the due dates of your items online.

Circulation staff are not always approachable at the front desk.

The Circulation staff invite you to interrupt them even if they look busy. The Circulation Department is one of the busiest departments of the Library; staff conduct several tasks both at and away from the Circulation Desk.  In response to your comments the Library is working to reorganize work patterns and highlight the customer service nature of the department and make the Circulation Desk an even more welcoming service point.

Facilities

The Library bathrooms often need cleaning.

The Library is sometimes messy.

The Law School’s Facilities Management Director has recently hired a new custodial manager.  In response to your comments restroom maintenance logs are being kept and additional attention is being given to keep these and other public areas in the Law Libraries clean and in good order.

If you notice specific problems with housekeeping or maintenance, ask a Circulation Desk employee to notify facilities, or send an email to facilitiesmgmt@law.georgetown.edu. Please provide details such as a carrel number, floor, or side of the building.

Please provide more power outlets in the Williams Reading Room tables.

There is currently one duplex outlet per table in this pre-laptop era room.  We are requesting estimates for adding power outlets.

Some of the chairs in the Reading Room need repair.

Please provide more comfortable chairs in the reading room

We will identify which chairs are in need of repair and have them made.

We are also investigating the budgetary and architectural issues involved in purchasing different styles of chairs for the Reading Room.

More varieties of casual seating throughout the library.

More adjustable chairs in Williams.

We will introduce some new styles of comfortable chairs this summer. Let us know how you like them!

The Finance Committee has approved funding to replace the wooden study chairs, and we have begun selecting new adjustable task chairs to replace them over the next few years. We will begin that effort this summer.

The Wolff Library needs more light.

We share your concerns about light levels in the Wolff Library, especially around the Atrium area on the 3rd floor. We will investigate options for improving the lighting, perhaps with table lamps.

Please install water fountains in the Wolff Library.

At this time it would be prohibitively expensive to add post-construction water fountains. To address your needs the Law Library is adding filtered water faucets for refilling water bottles at the restroom sinks. 

Please provide laptop-free quiet study areas.
Currently the Law Library has designated the north side of the Fifth Floor of Williams Law Library as a quiet study area, and is looking at possibilities for additional quiet study areas.

Wolff Library

Students would like to reserve scholar carrels and other carrels in the Wolff Library

Because the library cannot build enough carrels to meet the needs of everyone in our large student body, the Library’s policy is to reserve carrels for SJD candidates who have a unique need for the almost exclusively international and comparative materials housed at Wolff. The unreserved Wolff carrels are available for quiet study on a first-come first-serve basis.

I would like to have a hard-wired connection to the internet while studying in Wolff

The Library now has even more LAN cables for wired access in the Wolff Library. These can be checked out at the Wolff Circulation Desk. The jacks are located in areas along the windows and behind the elevator.

The location of the Wolff Reference Desk and its transactions adds to the noise level at the public computers on the entrance level of the Wolff Library.

We are considering this issue in several ways, including the possibility of moving the Wolff Reference Desk closer to the Wolff Circulation Desk.  While we study this issue we will try to keep the noise level down.

I don’t understand the call number sequence and arrangement in Wolff.

We have arranged materials in Wolff to provide a distinction between frequently used international materials and materials regarding foreign and comparative law.  We are investigating new ways to help users find their way around the Wolff Library.

On The Web

Maps & Directions

Google Map Image  of Georgetown - Law Center. Georgetown Law Library 111 G. Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

Contact

Circulation:
202.662.9131

U.S. Reference:
202.662.9140

International Reference:
202.662.4195

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