The Harold B. Lee Library ranked as a front runner among top ivy league university libraries thanks to its students.
The Princeton Review, an American-based standardized test preparation and admissions consulting company, recently named Top 20 best college libraries for this year. More than 120,000 college students were surveyed on the question ‘How do you rate your school’s library facility?’ As a result, the BYU Harold B. Lee Library ranked third on the list, following the Harvard and Columbia university libraries.
David Soto, director of college ranking at the Princeton Review said it was not the Princeton Review who rated these college libraries, but students from each school. Currently enrolled college students were randomly asked to answer the survey questionnaires on a one-to-five scale.
“I certainly applaud BYU for making the top tier,” Soto said.
The library is pleased with the review because it means students like the library, said Roger Layton, communications manager at the HBLL. Layton said the library administration meets with its student advisory committee twice a month to hear the needs of the students and work on them. The popular snack zone and music floor are some of the results.
A recent issue the student committee brought up was students would like more outlets in the library to use their electronic devices.
“We are installing hundreds of new outlets in study areas so the students can plug in their laptops,” Layton said. “And we are doing that in response to their request. I think the fact we are responsive to the students helps us … We’d be happy to hear more from our students so we can make things even better.”
The library also uses Facebook and YouTube videos to connect with students in more informal and friendly way. One of the library’s famous films, ‘Study Like a Scholar, Scholar,’ a humorous parody of an Old Spice commercial, hit almost 3 million views in YouTube.
Adam Roberts, a junior majoring in manufacturing engineering, said he comes to the library about four days a week. He likes to study in the snack zone or in the area with comfortable chairs. He said he feels positive about the changes the library has made.
“I will be honest, I like the chairs,” Roberts said. “I love that there is a good amount background noise to study to. A lot of people think the library is a place where it’s completely silent, but with the no-shh zone and snack zone, it’s a good place to study together with groups.”