Student focus group on web usage, July 2008

July 29, 2008 3PM
Minutes submitted by Michele Tokar

Marketing/PR Team members Harry Glazer, Rose Barbalace and Michele Tokar met with 6 student workers from the library (Libraries staff person Stephanie Mikitish attended the meeting as well). Out of the 6 student workers 4 were female and 2 were male, 5 were undergraduates and 1 was a graduate student.


The purpose of this meeting was to solicit student views on the libraries presence on certain University and non-University websites.

Meeting summary

After interviewing students about several websites for one hour, the representatives of the Marketing/PR team determined that Facebook was used the most by students followed (as a distant second) by YouTube. The students said they were on Facebook for 1-2 hours a day (often not at one sitting). Some students said they were members of groups on Facebook and that they did read e-mails from these groups when they received them. It was also concluded that if the libraries were to make any videos promoting the library, they would have to be funny, short and that student actors were preferred over staff.

When reviewing several websites at the meeting, it was observed that the students never noticed library ads or any other ads on these pages. Students, having grown up with the Web, tended to go to a website for a single purpose such as getting grades, finding an academic building, or reading their e-mail. They generally did not get distracted by ads or other items on a page unrelated to their immediate interest. This was even the true on the libraries website. Five out of the six students had never read or noticed the news and event listings on the Libraries webpage. In a related vein, only one of the six students reported that she occasionally skims the headlines of the news stories on the front page of the Rutgers website. The most heavily used Rutgers-related webpages are the 'Search the Rutgers website' page and

None of the students were aware of the new Libx toolbar. They reported that they go to the Libraries webpage to find a book or article. Most of the six students used Yahoo mail and a few have downloaded the Yahoo toolbar. They did however, read news events and headlines when they were on Yahoo to check their e-mail.


The following websites were reviewed during the meeting:

Other Websites

These other popular websites were discussed as places that some students visit:, Wikipedia,
None of the students reported that they have a profile or spend any time on

Other suggestions

After the students left, members of the marketing team talked about creating library videos using Flash or captivate.

Last updated August 21, 2008
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