restricted access Comfort and Convenience? Why Students Choose Alternatives to the Library

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers surveyed 3,227 undergraduate students to identify how many students use or do not use the physical and virtual OSU libraries. Most importantly, we wanted to determine the alternatives to the library that students choose for typical library activities, such as studying, research, and research assistance, and why they prefer those alternatives. Two hundred seventy five (29 percent) of the 949 respondents identified themselves as infrequent or non-users of the physical and/or virtual library. The researchers conducted focus groups with both library users and non-users, and surveyed 95 (35 percent) of the infrequent and non-users. The results suggest that students seek comfort, convenience, and quiet in extra-library and library environments; rely on knowledgeable individuals for research assistance; and conduct the majority of their research online from home.