Place matters: undergraduate perceptions of the value of the library

Journal Article


Journal Title

Performance Measurement and Metrics

Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Emerald Group Publishing Limited


University of Cape Town

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explore from a number of points of view the perceptions of mainly undergraduate students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) about the value they derive from visiting the physical library. Design/methodology/approach: Data from different investigations were assembled to derive a composite view of undergraduates’ perceptions of the value of the library. LibQUAL+® data reflecting the “Library as Place” dimension of the survey completed in 2014 were scrutinized; data from two surveys conducted in the information commons and the 24/7 venue of the main library at UCT were compiled and data from gate counts during the past three years showed different aspects of undergraduates’ opinions and behavior. Findings: The combination of data from difference sources provided convincing evidence that undergraduate students value the library as a physical space and that they believe their working in the library enables them to get better marks for their university work. Originality/value: The originality of this paper lies in the combination of different datasets to focus on one particular issue, the value of the physical library.