Graduate Students and the Library

Jessica Kayongo, Clarence Helm


This study sought to determine the extent to which the Hesburgh Libraries of the University of Notre Dame meets the needs of its graduate students. It focused on how Notre Dame graduate students found research materials and how useful the Hesburgh Libraries’ collections were in their research and studies. Information gathered through this project indicates the level of usefulness of library resources and collections for one of its main constituents—graduate students. Graduate students’ contacts with the library, regardless of method, were almost always for their own research pursuits, not for faculty research. Graduate students at Notre Dame had more limited contacts with librarians and with library outreach research services. Most respondents (62.8 percent) preferred to use remote access to obtain copies of electronic items identified as relevant to their research. Across the board, however, graduate students were generally satisfied with the various library services. The survey showed that 44.6 percent and 41.1 percent of the respondents rated the library as “very useful” and “useful,” respectively, in their research. The data collected has provided a better understanding of graduate student research behavior, methods of library access, and levels of satisfaction with library resources, which will inform local practices and has the potential to do the same at other institutions of higher learning nationwide.

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