IUPUI University Library—A Power of Libraries Story
August 29th, 2018
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library is the heart of their college campus. Students come in each day looking for academic support and resources.
While students were being provided for, IUPUI library staff felt as if they could do more. 8 years ago, the staff asked the students for a “Top 10” list about what they liked and disliked about their library in an attempt to learn how they could improve.
They ended up receiving 500 post-it notes with different kinds of feedback. Together, the staff took the data they collected and organized it into usable information. This process eventually developed into the annual I ♥ UL program.
Now, the program has become seamless. Each year, staff at the library post a board in the entry way of the library and invite students to write their feedback on a post-it note, and then post it on the board. If a student participates, they are rewarded with school swag like a free water bottle or candy. After the day is spent collecting feedback, the group takes each post-it note and organizes it into different categories depending on what the student was asking for. After spending a few hours on this, Willie Miller, who runs the I ♥ UL program, takes each category and organizes it into a spreadsheet showing what the majority of students are saying. The final step in this program is taking all of that data and information and presenting it to library’s board. In the meeting, Willie shows what data he has collected and describes what students are asking for. It creates a dialog for new projects to better serve their students.
In recent years, this program helped implement a new project for students during finals week. The library now offers free coffee and hot chocolate each morning and night for students studying early, or staying late. It is small changes like this that makes the library more personal for each student.
More recently, using the information that has been collected, the library was able to secure a $1.75 million renovation budget. The library is currently under construction in an effort to create more study spaces, provide better resources, and improve the library space so that students can feel at home while visiting the library.
Isaac Kilgore, a student at IUPUI, said of the program “It’s [the program] is extremely important from a student’s standpoint, it provides us with an unfiltered path for us to let the library know what we want from them, and what we need.”
“It makes us feel really good to know that we’re doing a job of being a democratic institution for our campus where everyone feels like they have a place, where everyone feels welcome,” said Willie. “Improving our library helps to improve the academic success support that we provide on our campus.”
After thousands of post-it notes, IUPUI continues their effort to understand their student body to see how they can contribute to student success.