STUDENT AND STAFF PERCEPTIONS OF UNIVERSITY LIBRARY USAGE: COMPARING REALITY TO INTERPRETATION OF SPACE USAGE
The role of the academic library, student library usage, and faculty perceptions of student learning have been separate ongoing discussions in higher education for many years. The purpose of this study was to bring those conversations together and illustrate how students at The University of Southern Mississippi are currently using Cook Library, their preferences for library space usage, and the faculty/staff perceptions of student usage. This study was conducted to address the problem of how to effectively bring the expectations of students and library faculty/staff together so that library spaces and environments can be updated or created to fit the needs of the campus community. This study used a cross-sectional survey design to illustrate the usage of students and perceptions of faculty/staff at The University of Southern Mississippi. Data results show that library faculty/staff perceptions of student usage did not always align with the actual student usage data, especially concerning traditional library services and resources, such as the importance of the availability of library assistance, access to books, and access to computers/printing. The researcher concluded the study by making data driven recommendations to library administration concerning building layout, atmosphere, and library services.