What do students want to see in a library newsletter?

December 2, 2008, 8:31 am


The GT Library has been producing a monthly newsletter for about four years now. These issues appear in the bathroom stalls and are filled with a hodgepodge of information. We were inspired by William & Mary’s effort and you can read our back-story here.

I am no longer involved with the production of this publication but I am lending a hand in the assessment effort. I recently conducted a quick poll (I actually had a student do it in order to get more authentic answers) of individuals around campus and asked them a few questions.

  • Did they recall ever seeing an issue before in the library?
  • Review three issues and tell me what info/design elements stand out the most.
  • Which of these three issues is your favorite?
  • What type of content would you like to see or expect to see in this type of publication?

This is the first wave of a handful of assessment efforts. I tested different layout styles to see how much text was too much text, what types of images or themes did students like, and what did they remember based upon a quick glance. The editorial group is working through that data now and hopefully it will help them with future production. One of the most interesting finds was a design that just about all the male participants labeled as “too feminine.”

Anyway, for what it is worth to others out there, this is the type of stuff they wanted to see in the newsletter:


  • fun stuff, funny and interesting facts, things that apply to college students
  • events on campus/around Atlanta, study tips, facts
  • cool books or websites
  • websites for students, info on library, good books, resources
  • new things on campus, events, good books
  • cool websites, ideas for things to do on campus and in library
  • jokes, word teasers, info about tech, website resources for students
  • funny facts, happenings around tech, info on library


  • campus info
  • interesting facts about tech, events at the library
  • events on campus, interesting facts, jokes
  • good books, events on campus, spotlight an organization
  • events in Atlanta, events sponsored by tech groups, info on the library
  • things going on at library, facts people don’t know about the library
  • advice, events on campus, info about the library
  • map of library, where you can find certain things within library, humor
  • cool books or magazines, people’s opinions, jokes, interesting facts
  • stuff about tech
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