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Survey of american college students use of workstations vs mobil

SURVEY OF AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS:
USE OF WORKSTATIONS VS. MOBILE
COMPUTING IN THE ACADEMIC LIBRARY,
2018 Edition

ISBN 978-1-57440-506-4 ©2018 Primary Research Group Inc.


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Table of Contents
Table of Contents .................................................................................................................................................. 3
THE QUESTIONNAIRE ........................................................................................................................................ 7
Characteristics of the Sample ........................................................................................................................ 12

SURVEY METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................................ 17
SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS .................................................................................................................... 18
Student Experience of Waiting Time to Use Library Workstations .......................................... 18
Percentage of Student Time Spent Using Online Library Resources Accounted for by Use
of One’s Own Mobile Access Device Rather than Library-Supplied Workstations.............. 18
Student Evaluation of the Need for More Library Supplied Workstations ............................. 19
Student Description of their Time Spent Using their own Mobile Access Devices Vs. Time
Spent Using Library-Supplied Workstations...................................................................................... 19
Student Suggestions on Adding New Workstation or Software Technology ......................... 20
Table 1.1 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that?......................................................................................................................................................................... 21
Table 1.2 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by Carnegie class of survey participant’s institution ........................................ 21
Table 1.3 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by Institutional Enrollment ........................................................................................ 22
Table 1.4 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by age of survey participant ....................................................................................... 22
Table 1.5 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out for survey participants from rural, suburban and urban areas of origin.. 23
Table 1.6 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out regional origins of the survey participant ............................................................. 23
Table 1.7 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by college year class standing .................................................................................... 24
Table 1.8 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by approximate student family annual income................................................... 24
Table 1.9 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by degree of religiosity of the survey participant .............................................. 25
Table 1.10 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by type of political beliefs of the survey participant ......................................... 26
Table 1.11 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by college grades of the survey participant .......................................................... 26
Table 1.12 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by current or likely college major of the survey participant ......................... 27
Table 1.13 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by gender of the survey participant ........................................................................ 28
Table 1.14 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out for students in public or private colleges: ............................................................. 28
Table 1.15 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by type of domestic housing arrangement of the survey participant ........ 29
Table 1.16 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by employment circumstance of the survey participant ................................. 30
Table 1.17 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by sexual orientation of the survey participant .................................................. 30
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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
Table 1.18 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
that? Broken out by ACT or SAT scores of the survey participant ................................................. 31
Table 2.1 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? ......................... 32
Table 2.2 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
Carnegie class of survey participant’s institution ................................................................................. 32
Table 2.3 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
Institutional Enrollment.................................................................................................................................. 32
Table 2.4 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
age of survey participant ................................................................................................................................ 33
Table 2.5 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out for
survey participants from rural, suburban and urban areas of origin............................................ 33
Table 2.6 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out
regional origins of the survey participant ................................................................................................ 34
Table 2.7 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
college year class standing ............................................................................................................................. 34
Table 2.8 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
approximate student family annual income............................................................................................ 35
Table 2.9 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
degree of religiosity of the survey participant ....................................................................................... 36
Table 2.10 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
type of political beliefs of the survey participant .................................................................................. 37
Table 2.11 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
college grades of the survey participant ................................................................................................... 37
Table 2.12 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
current or likely college major of the survey participant .................................................................. 38
Table 2.13 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
gender of the survey participant ................................................................................................................. 38
Table 2.14 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out for
students in public or private colleges: ....................................................................................................... 39
Table 2.15 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
type of domestic housing arrangement of the survey participant ................................................. 39
Table 2.16 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
employment circumstance of the survey participant .......................................................................... 40
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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
Table 2.17 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
sexual orientation of the survey participant ........................................................................................... 40
Table 2.18 About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information? Broken out by
ACT or SAT scores of the survey participant .......................................................................................... 41
Table 3.1 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? .......................................................................................................................................... 42
Table 3.2 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by Carnegie class of survey participant’s institution .......... 42
Table 3.3 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by Institutional Enrollment .......................................................... 42
Table 3.4 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by age of survey participant ......................................................... 43
Table 3.5 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out for survey participants from rural, suburban and urban
areas of origin...................................................................................................................................................... 43
Table 3.6 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out regional origins of the survey participant ............................... 44
Table 3.7 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by college year class standing ...................................................... 44
Table 3.8 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by approximate student family annual income .................... 44
Table 3.9 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by degree of religiosity of the survey participant ................ 45
Table 3.10 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by type of political beliefs of the survey participant ........... 45
Table 3.11 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by college grades of the survey participant ............................ 46
Table 3.12 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by current or likely college major of the survey participant
................................................................................................................................................................................... 46
Table 3.13 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by gender of the survey participant .......................................... 47
Table 3.14 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out for students in public or private colleges: ............................... 47
Table 3.15 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by type of domestic housing arrangement of the survey
participant ............................................................................................................................................................ 47
Table 3.16 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by employment circumstance of the survey participant ... 48
Table 3.17 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by sexual orientation of the survey participant .................... 48
Table 3.18 The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is sufficient? Broken out by ACT or SAT scores of the survey participant ................... 49
Table 4.1 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? ...................... 50
Table 4.2 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by Carnegie class of survey participant’s institution ........................................................................... 50
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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
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Table 4.3 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by Institutional Enrollment ........................................................................................................................... 51
Table 4.4 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by age of survey participant .......................................................................................................................... 51
Table 4.5 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
for survey participants from rural, suburban and urban areas of origin..................................... 52
Table 4.6 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
regional origins of the survey participant ................................................................................................ 53
Table 4.7 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by college year class standing ....................................................................................................................... 53
Table 4.8 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by approximate student family annual income...................................................................................... 54
Table 4.9 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by degree of religiosity of the survey participant ................................................................................. 55
Table 4.10 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by type of political beliefs of the survey participant ............................................................................ 56
Table 4.11 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by college grades of the survey participant ............................................................................................. 56
Table 4.12 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by current or likely college major of the survey participant ............................................................ 57
Table 4.13 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by gender of the survey participant ........................................................................................................... 58
Table 4.14 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
for students in public or private colleges: ................................................................................................ 58
Table 4.15 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by type of domestic housing arrangement of the survey participant ........................................... 59
Table 4.16 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by employment circumstance of the survey participant .................................................................... 60
Table 4.17 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by sexual orientation of the survey participant ..................................................................................... 60
Table 4.18 Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library? Broken out
by ACT or SAT scores of the survey participant .................................................................................... 61
What workstation or software technology should your library add or expand? Broken out
by ACT or SAT scores of the survey participant .................................................................................... 62

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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
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THE QUESTIONNAIRE
1. Please fill in the following contact information. If you win the drawing your Amazon
card will be sent to this email address.
A. Name:
B. Name of College that You Attend:
C. Email Address:
2. How old are you? (answer in number of years) e.g., "19" 0r "23" Do not include
fractions or descriptive phrases such as "years old"
3. Choose the phrase which best describes where you grew up before you went to
college. If more than one answer applies to you, choose the one that you feel best
reflects who you believe that you are.
A.
B.
C.
D.

I grew up in a major city with more than 350,000 people
I grew up in a small or medium sized city with less than 350,000 people.
I grew up in a suburban area
I grew up in a rural area.

4. I grew up mostly in:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

The South
The Northeast
The Midwest
The West
in Canada
Abroad (other than Canada)

5. This semester I am a:
A.
B.
C.
D.

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Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
6. What is the approximate annual income level of your family of origin (your Mom &
Dad or legal guardian)? For students over the age of 40 use your current family
income.
A.
B.
C.
D.

Less than $45,000 per year
$45,000 to $80,000 per year
$80,000+ to $150,000 per year
More than $150,000 per year

7. How would you describe your relationship with organized religion?
A. I practice a religion thoroughly and consider my religion to be a very important
part of my life.
B. I practice a religion and try to attend regular services and to participate as much
as I can.
C. I identify with a religion but can't say I put a lot of effort into practicing it.
D. I don't really believe in or practice an organized religion.
8. Choose the phrase that best describes your political views:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Very Left Wing
Liberal
Middle of the Road
Conservative
Very Right Wing

9. Which phrase best describes your college academic performance? (If you have not
yet received any grades choose what your tests and other experiences suggest will
be your grades)
A.
B.
C.
D.

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A or A- average or more
B or B+ average
C or C+ average
D or D+ average or less


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
10. Choose the phrase that best describes your academic major or likely major:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

Business, Economics or Finance
Fine Arts or Performing Arts
Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Pre-Med, Nursing
Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science
Philosophy, History, English, Classics, Languages
Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology or other Social Science
Other (please specify)

11. You are:
A. Male
B. Female
12. Your college is:
A. A public college
B. A private college
C. I'm not sure
13. Currently you live:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

At home with my parents or guardian
Off campus with others who are not my parents or guardian
Off campus alone
In Fraternity or Sorority Supplied Housing
On campus in the dorms or college-provided suites

14. Which phrase best describes your current employment situation:
A. I don't have a full or part time job.
B. I have a part time job.
C. I have a full-time job.

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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
15. Which phrase best describes your sexual orientation?
A. Heterosexual or "straight"
B. Homosexual or "gay"
C. Transgender
16. Which category best captures your highest overall SAT or ACT score? The SAT
score is based on the new 1600-point standard so if you were tested under the old
2400-point standard it would be 2/3 of this score.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

30 or over ACT or 1350 or over SAT
24-29 ACT or 1170 to 1349 SAT
20-23 ACT or 1050 to 1169 SAT
17-19 ACT or 900 to 1050 SAT
16 or Under ACT or Under 900 SAT
Never Took Either Test

17. When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find that:
A. I almost always have to wait to get on the workstation that I need at the library.
B. I often have to wait to get on a workstation that I need at the library.
C. I generally don’t have to often wait to get on a workstation that I need at the
library.
D. I almost never have to wait to get on a workstation that I need at the library.
18. About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in the
library are you using your own mobile device to access the information?
19. The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college library
is:
A. More than enough
B. Enough, about right
C. Insufficient, we need more.

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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
20. Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

Almost always use the library's desktops
Sometimes use my own computer, but usually use the library's desktops
Half the time I use my own computer and half the time the library's desktops
Usually use my own computer but sometimes use the library's desktops
Almost always use my own computer or other mobile device
Use the library's mobile devices

21. What workstation or software technology should your library add or expand?

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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Characteristics of the Sample
Carnegie Class of the Institutions Attended by the Survey Participants

BA
Master's Colleges
Doctoral Universities:
Moderate and Higher Research
Activity
Doctoral Universities: Highest
Research Activity
Total

#
366
340
262
131
1099

Institutional Enrollment of the Institutions Attended by the Survey Participants

Less than 3000
3000 - 11999
12000 - 16500
More than 16500
Total

#
281
290
256
272
1099

How old are you?

19 or younger
20
21
22
23-30
Over 30
Total

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#
356
200
162
138
180
63
1099


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
Urban, Rural or Suburban Origins
#
I grew up in a major city with more than
350,000 people
I grew up in a small or medium sized city
with less than 350,000 people.
I grew up in a suburban area
I grew up in a rural area.
Total

183
257
385
274
1099

I grew up mostly in?

The South
The Northeast
The Midwest
The West
Abroad
Total

#
189
350
225
276
59
1099

This semester I am a:

Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Total

#
271
238
246
344
1099

The approximate annual income level (in US$) of my family of origin (your Mom and Dad or
legal guardian) was? For students over the age of 40 use your current family income.

Less than $45,000 per year
$45,000 to $80,000 per
year
$80,000+ to $150,000 per
year
More than $150,000 per
year
Income not specified
Total

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#
263
344
342
136
14
1099


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
How would you describe your relationship with organized religion?

I practice a religion thoroughly and consider my
religion to be a very important part of my life.
I practice a religion and try to attend regular
services and to participate as much as I can.
I identify with a religion but can't say I put a lot
of effort into practicing it.
I don't really believe in or practice an organized
religion.
Total

#
195
146
326
432
1099

Choose the phrase that best describes your political views?

Very Left Wing
Liberal
Middle of the
Road
Conservative
Very Right Wing
Total

#
85
395
391
216
12
1099

Which phrase best describes your college academic performance? (If you have not yet
received any grades choose what your tests and other experiences suggest will be your
grades)

A or A- average or more
B or B+ average
C or C+ average or less
Total

#
539
488
72
1099

Choose the phrase that best describes your academic major or likely major:

Business, Economics or Finance
Fine Arts or Performing Arts
Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Pre-Med, Nursing
Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science
Philosophy, History, English, Classics,
Languages, Education
Psychology, Sociology, Political Science,
Anthropology or other Social Science
Total
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#
155
77
309
143
175
240
1099


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
Your gender?

Male
Female
Total

#
348
751
1099

Your college is:

A public college
A private college
Total
Currently you live:

#
674
425
1099

At home with my parents or guardian
Off campus with others who are not my parents
or guardian
Off campus alone
In Fraternity or Sorority Supplied Housing
On campus in the dorms or college-provided
suites
Total

#
103
379
78
22
517
1099

Which phrase best describes your current employment situation?

I don't have a full or part time job.
I have a part time job.
I have a full-time job.
Total

#
387
605
107
1099

Which phrase best describes your sexual orientation?

Heterosexual or "straight"
Homosexual or "gay"
Other or No Answer
Total

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#
980
101
18
1099


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
Which category best captures your highest overall SAT or ACT score?

30 or over ACT or 1350 or over SAT
24-29 ACT or 1170 to 1349 SAT
20-23 ACT or 1050 to 1169 SAT
17-19 ACT or 900 to 1050 SAT
16 or Under ACT or Under 900 SAT
Never Took Either Test
Total

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#
264
436
226
79
6
88
1099


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

SURVEY METHODOLOGY
The Survey of American College Students is NOT a sample of all American college students.
It does not include part time students, graduate students, junior or community college
students, students at for-profit colleges, and students from special purpose colleges, such
as those specializing in areas such as military service, divinity, theater, visual arts, aviation
and other special purpose schools. This study includes full time students in the United
States at colleges and universities that conform to the Carnegie class categories: BA
granting institutions, MA-granting institutions, and doctoral and research universities.
The sample frame was 350,000 students drawn from a representative sample of 80 4-year
American colleges and universities. This frame was set up to mimic to the extent practically
feasible the distribution of three fundamental types of college institutions in the United
States: BA, MA and research universities. This variable – college type as defined in
Carnegie classes – was used to establish a quota system. No other quotas or stratification
strategies were employed and, while the wonders of randomness will reproduce with
admirable accuracy the overall population parameters of most variables, the same wonder
of randomness implies that a few of these parameters, especially those with small sample
sizes, will not always be fully representative in every sample draw. This is especially true
for cohorts with very small sample sizes. For example, students who described themselves
as very right wing politically formed a cohort of only 12 students of the 1099 interviewed,
and only 59 students were raised abroad. However, most cohorts are much larger with a
mean of about 250.
The overall sample size for this particular study was 1099. For further details on the
sample see Characteristics of the Sample in the prior section.

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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
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SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS
Student Experience of Waiting Time to Use Library Workstations
We asked: When you need to find a workstation to use in your college library do you find
which of the following?
We gave four possible answers to this multiple-choice question. These were: 1) I almost
always have to wait to get on the workstation that I need at the library.
2)I often have
to wait to get on a workstation that I need at the library. 3) I generally don’t have to often
wait to get on a workstation that I need at the library. 4) I almost never have to wait to
get on a workstation that I need at the library.
A plurality of 40.76% respondents said that they generally don’t have to wait to get on a
workstation and another 38.76% said that they almost never have to wait for a
workstation. 9.83% say that they often have to wait and 3.82% say that they almost always
have to wait. The percentage how say that they always or often have to wait is highest
among doctoral universities at the highest level of research activity and is much higher
than for all other types of college or university. Approximately 23.7% of students at
doctoral institutions with the highest level of research activity say that they always or often
have to wait for an available workstation.
In general, few students at small colleges with less than 3,000 students enrolled (FTE) have
to always or often have to wait for a workstation, only approximately 5.5%, while for
institutions with more than 16,500 students enrolled (FTE), 17.65% have always or often
to wait. For whatever reasons, students over age thirty have more often to wait for a
workstation than younger students; close to 17.5% had to often or always wait. Students at
the lower end of the economic scale, from families with annual incomes of lower than
$45,000 per year, were more likely than the affluent to have to wait a while – about 17.5%
had to. Students in biology and other hard sciences were more likely than those in other
majors or specializations to have to wait always or often for a workstation – 16.2%.
The situation is worse at public than private colleges, where chronic wait periods were
experienced by 16.62% of students at the former but only 8.94% at the latter. Students
with a full-time job were another population compelled to more frequently wait, probably
because they have less flexibility in avoiding high traffic times in the library, and more than
23.2% experienced significant difficulty. Other groups with above average problems in
waiting for library workstations were gay students, and students with low ACT or SAT
scores.

Percentage of Student Time Spent Using Online Library Resources Accounted for by
Use of One’s Own Mobile Access Device Rather than Library-Supplied Workstations
We asked: About what percentage of the time you spend using library online resources in
the library are you using your own mobile device to access the information?
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Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
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The mean response was 47.93%; the median was 50% and the range, 0 to 100%. Use of
mobile resources was at a low of 44.47% for master’s colleges and at a high of 52.87% for
doctoral universities, moderate and higher research activity. Students raised abroad were
the least likely to use their own mobile device, only 39.11% did so. Students from higher
income families (more than $150,000 annual income) were somewhat more likely than
lower income students to use their own devices in the library, but the differences were not
very great. Those from the highest income cohort used their own devices 51.4% of the
time while those in the lowest cohort used their own mobile device 46.2% of the time.
Students in the social sciences used their own mobile devices the most often, more than
52% of the time, while students in engineering, mathematics and computer science used
them the least, 40.35% of the time. Females were much more likely than men to use their
own devices, using them 51.3% of the time vs. only 40.52% for men.

Student Evaluation of the Need for More Library Supplied Workstations
We asked: The number of workstations or portals to access the internet at your college
library is which of the following: 1) More than enough, 2) Enough, about right, 3)
Insufficient, we need more.
26.84% felt their library had more than enough workstations and a majority of 57.96%
though the library had enough, about right while only 8.92% of those surveyed felt that
their libraries needed more workstations. In doctoral universities, highest level of research
activity, nearly 23% of survey respondents felt that their libraries did not have enough
workstations. Older students, over age 22 and especially those over age 30, were also more
likely than others to feel that their libraries did not have a sufficient number of
workstations. For students over age 30, 14.29% felt this way. The percentage of students
dissatisfied with the number of workstations available in the library tended to increase
with class year, so that only 5.9% of freshmen wanted more workstations vs. 10.47% of
seniors. 11.13% of public college students felt that they needed more workstations in the
library vs. only 5.41% of private college students.

Student Description of their Time Spent Using their own Mobile Access Devices Vs.
Time Spent Using Library-Supplied Workstations
We asked: Which phrase best describes how you use computers in the library?
We gave six possible answers to this multiple choice question, which were: Almost always
use the library's desktops Sometimes use my own computer, but usually use the library's
desktops
Half the time I use my own computer and half the time the library's desktops
Usually use my own computer but sometimes use the library's desktops
Almost always use my own computer or other mobile device Use the library's
mobile devices:
A plurality of nearly 43% almost always use their own mobile device in the library. A
substantial percentage – 22.84% -- usually use their own computer but sometimes use the
library’s desktops and 8.92% split the time they spend on their own computer and the
library’s desktops. 9.1% usually use the library’s computer and 9.83% almost always use
19 | P a g e


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition
the library’s desktops. Use of library computers seemed to be greatest among doctoral
universities at the highest level of research activity, where more than 25% of students used
the library’s computers usually or almost always. Also, interestingly, older students tended
to use the library’s computers more than younger ones, perhaps because they are more
familiar with software and other resources available at library workstations.
Approximately 24% of twenty-two years old’s, for example, largely used library
workstations, while this was true of only 13.5% of those aged 20 and a bit more than 15%
of those aged 19 or younger. Use of library workstations rose in step with class year with
15.87% of freshmen, 17.22% of sophomores, 20.1% of juniors and 22.38% of seniors
usually or always using library supplied workstations rather than their own laptops.
Students raised abroad were also much more likely than those raised in the USA to use
library workstations extensively; nearly 24% of them used library workstations usually or
almost always. Also, use of library workstations was inversely related to student family of
origin income. Students from families earning less than $45,000 per year used library
workstations usually or always more than 28% of the time while for students from families
of origin earning more than $150,000 per year, this figure was only 11.77%. Students at
political extremes – right or left – were also more likely than others with more moderate
political views to use library supplied workstations.
Students in the fine and performing arts are much more likely than those in other majors
and subject areas to use library workstations; 32.47% of them use the workstations usually
or almost all of the time while in the library.

Student Suggestions on Adding New Workstation or Software Technology
We asked: What workstation or software technology should your library add or expand?
We are particularly struck by the demand for various forms of Adobe products. In addition,
many wanted more Mac desktops, and more workstations in general, and some had
suggestions for expanding library technology lending programs. Students occasionally
suggested increasing outlets, adding self-serve printers and furnishing more and better
statistical and math software. iPads were a frequent request and there were occasional
requests for additional study rooms. Several mentioned a need for easier means of
converting and combining PDFs. Six or seven students requested 3D printing equipment.
Remote printing capability for laptops was also on the student wish list. Color printing
capability was requested by a few students. Photoshop was a common request.

20 | P a g e


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Table 1.1 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that?
No
Answer

Entire
sample

6.82%

I almost
always have to
wait to get on
the
workstation
that I need at
the library.
3.82%

I often have to
wait to get on
a workstation
that I need at
the library.
9.83%

I generally
don’t have to
often wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.
40.76%

I almost never
have to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.
38.76%

Table 1.2 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out by Carnegie class of survey
participant’s institution
Carnegie class of
survey
participant’s
institution

No Answer

BA
Master's
Colleges
Doctoral
Universities:
Moderate and
Higher Research
Activity
Doctoral
Universities:
Highest
Research
Activity

21 | P a g e

I often have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

6.28%
7.06%

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
1.37%
4.41%

5.74%
11.18%

I generally
don’t have
to often wait
to get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
39.62%
40.88%

I almost
never have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
46.99%
36.47%

8.02%

4.58%

10.69%

40.08%

36.64%

5.34%

7.63%

16.03%

45.04%

25.95%


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Table 1.3 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out by Institutional Enrollment
Institutional
Enrollment

No Answer

Less than 3000
3000 - 11999
12000 - 16500
More than
16500

6.05%
5.86%
7.81%
7.72%

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
1.78%
5.52%
2.73%
5.15%

I often have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
4.63%
11.72%
10.55%
12.50%

I generally
don’t have to
often wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
41.99%
40.69%
39.84%
40.44%

I almost
never have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
45.55%
36.21%
39.06%
34.19%

Table 1.4 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out by age of survey participant
How old are
you?

No Answer

19 or
younger
20
21
22
23-30
Over 30

22 | P a g e

I often have
to wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.

I generally
don’t have to
often wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.

I almost
never have
to wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.

5.90%

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
3.09%

8.71%

41.85%

40.45%

6.50%
5.56%
7.25%
5.00%
20.63%

5.00%
1.85%
2.17%
5.56%
7.94%

7.50%
8.64%
13.04%
13.33%
9.52%

39.50%
48.77%
39.13%
40.56%
22.22%

41.50%
35.19%
38.41%
35.56%
39.68%


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Table 1.5 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out for survey participants from rural,
suburban and urban areas of origin
Urban, Rural or
Suburban Origins

No
Answer

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

I often have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

I almost
never have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

10.93%

I generally
don’t have
to often
wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
36.07%

I grew up in a major
city with more than
350,000 people
I grew up in a small or
medium sized city with
less than 350,000
people.
I grew up in a
suburban area
I grew up in a rural
area.

8.74%

6.01%

7.78%

2.33%

12.06%

35.41%

42.41%

4.94%

3.90%

8.83%

45.45%

36.88%

7.30%

3.65%

8.39%

42.34%

38.32%

38.25%

Table 1.6 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out regional origins of the survey
participant
I grew up
mostly in?

No Answer

The South
The Northeast
The Midwest
The West
Abroad

4.76%
6.57%
6.67%
7.61%
11.86%

23 | P a g e

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
4.76%
4.57%
0.89%
3.62%
8.47%

I often have
to wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.

I generally
don’t have to
often wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.

I almost
never have
to wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need at
the library.

11.11%
10.29%
5.33%
13.04%
5.08%

43.92%
44.29%
37.33%
40.22%
25.42%

35.45%
34.29%
49.78%
35.51%
49.15%


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Table 1.7 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out by college year class standing
This semester I
am a:

No Answer

Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior

7.01%
6.72%
6.50%
6.98%

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
1.85%
4.20%
3.66%
5.23%

I often have
to wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
8.49%
10.08%
8.54%
11.63%

I generally
don’t have to
often wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
37.27%
41.60%
42.68%
41.57%

I almost
never have
to wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
45.39%
37.39%
38.62%
34.59%

Table 1.8 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out by approximate student family
annual income
Approximate
student family
annual income

No Answer

Less than
$45,000 per year
$45,000 to
$80,000 per year
$80,000+ to
$150,000 per
year
More than
$150,000 per
year
Income not
specified
24 | P a g e

I often have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

6.84%

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
5.70%

11.79%

I generally
don’t have
to often wait
to get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
33.84%

I almost
never have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
41.83%

6.98%

2.62%

9.30%

43.90%

37.21%

6.73%

2.63%

9.36%

42.11%

39.18%

5.15%

6.62%

8.09%

45.59%

34.56%

21.43%

0.00%

14.29%

14.29%

50.00%


Survey of American College Students: Use of Workstations vs. Mobile Computing in the
Academic Library, 2018 Edition

Table 1.9 When you need to find a workstation to use in your college
library do you find that? Broken out by degree of religiosity of the
survey participant
How would you
describe your
relationship with
organized religion?

No
Answer

I almost
always have
to wait to
get on the
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

I often have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

I practice a religion
thoroughly and
consider my religion
to be a very important
part of my life.
I practice a religion
and try to attend
regular services and
to participate as much
as I can.
I identify with a
religion but can't say I
put a lot of effort into
practicing it.
I don't really believe
in or practice an
organized religion.

8.72%

3.59%

7.53%

25 | P a g e

I almost
never have
to wait to
get on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.

9.23%

I generally
don’t have
to often
wait to get
on a
workstation
that I need
at the
library.
40.00%

4.11%

10.27%

43.15%

34.93%

7.06%

2.76%

10.43%

41.72%

38.04%

5.56%

4.63%

9.49%

39.58%

40.74%

38.46%


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