Penn Libraries User Experience Survey 2018

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Penn Libraries User Experience Survey 2018 (PLUX) was designed to ask library users to reflect on the spaces, programming, and services related to their engagement with the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. The primary patron communities surveyed were undergraduate and graduate students, with the focus of facilitating conversation about library experiences. The survey was administered at the campus scale between April and May of 2018, receiving a total of 379 undergraduate and 235 graduate student responses at a %100 rate of completion. Of those responses, 116 first year undergraduates and 61 graduating seniors were represented, as well as an even divergence of users who reported frequent or infrequent use of the library across all demographics in aggregate.


The PLUX survey was made available to students through a Qualtrics link via a combination of marketing and distribution approaches:

  • Print circulation included 220 halls in the residential colleges, 200 slip sheet advertisements in the resident dining cafes, library entryway signage, and campus bulletin board postings.
  • Digital methods included a banner advertisement in Canvas, one email push to undergraduate email accounts, library website promotion, library social media scheduling, liaison messages to academic departments, and individual mailings to campus centers and student organizations.
  • In-person distribution occurred at four end of semester finals events.


In order to protect survey participant privacy, three general approaches were implemented in the dashboard above:

  • Only the subset of the variables that are directly relevant to these visualizations were included in the dashboard. Potentially sensitive or identifiable respondent data are not incorporated into the app.
  • With the exception of the demographics visualization in the “Demographics” tab, visualizations will not display any combinations of respondent demographics that represent fewer than 5 survey participants. This method was implemented to prevent inference for the answers of specific, low-number groups of respondents. Similarly, visualizations will not display if there is only one row of data in order to safeguard against the appearance that all members of a particular group responded in a particular way.
  • Majors and degree programs were manually re-coded into school affiliation within the university. Generalizing the data in this way further protects survey participant information from re-identification.

For more information about the Penn Libraries User Experience Survey or the forthcoming 2019 survey, contact Student Engagement Librarian Katherine Ahnberg at General operations inquiries can be directed to the Associate University Librarian for User Services & Resource Management, Jon Shaw, at