Cullom-Davis Library scores poorly

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 9.57.20 PMBradley recently received a No. 1 ranking in Princeton Review’s Best Colleges publication, but the category is not one Bradley should celebrate.

Each year, Princeton Review releases college rankings in various categories based on the results of both quantitative and qualitative surveys.

While Bradley received top rankings in athletic facilities, top undergraduate universities and top entrepreneurial programs, Bradley was also ranked No.1 in a category entitled “This is a Library?”.

“This is a Library?” ranks the nation’s worst libraries based solely on student opinions stemming from the header question, “How do you rate your school’s library facilities?”.

Princeton Review compiles a database of the students at each of the 378 schools that Princeton Review publishes in their Best Colleges annual review according to their website.

Princeton Review states that their survey of approximately 80 questions is distributed to the students in that database. The questions are divided into four sections: their fellow students, themselves, life at their college and their school’s academics and administration.

The student opinion survey uses a five-point Likert scale as the measurement for answering questions, ranging from “extremely” to “not at all” or from “excellent” to “awful”.

The Princeton Review’s rankings of Bradley’s academic programs are based on quantitative, factual data conducted directly with faculty and staff of each university. However, the “This is a Library?” category is a segment that relies solely on the opinions of students who choose to complete the survey that is distributed once every three years.

Executive Director of the Cullom-Davis Library Barbara Galik said that although these statistics are at least three years outdated, the library is still working closely with administration, especially Provost David Glassman, to up the caliber for the students’ benefit.

“Provost recently hired a consultant firm to provide a master plan for remodeling and increasing the aesthetic appearance and comfort of the library’s internal space,” she said. “We agree the library needs a cosmetic overhaul, and we have been working on plans to improve the look and feel of the library.”

In last month’s Student Senate Speak Up! event, Glassman commented that the library renovations would be approximately $3 million based on the necessary recommendations made by Cannon Design. He said once the revenue sources are established, the project will be underway.

Galik said the library’s concern for students remains strong and that her door is always open to students for recommendations and fresh ideas.

“We also have a suggestion box, and I read all the comments submitted there,” she said. “Students provided input that was included in [Cannon Design’s] report.  Be assured that, as we move forward with the plan, students will definitely provide input on a variety of levels.”

Student Senate Vice President of Academic Affairs Sarah Handler said she and her committee are focusing the spring semester on the promotion of the library and its resources.

“Next semester we’ll be working to help educate the student body on what services and resources the library does offer because it has so many,” she said. “We want to do this so that they can better utilize the resources.”

Handler said the committee has already been in communication with Galik and Glassman with regard to student needs and wants in the future library plans.

“The plan to renovate the library is one step, and we will continue to offer the services that our students need,” Galik said. “We will be asking the Princeton Review to conduct a survey to determine the opinion of current students.”

Bradley’s Princeton Review rankings will be evaluated next year to update the three-year-old data.