George C. Gordon Library

Every spring the Gordon Library surveys all WPI students to help us prioritize services and resources for the next academic year. This year over 414 students responded, representing many departments and programs and all academic levels from freshmen through PhD programs.  

A full report of what students told us will be shared this summer.

Some highlights of what students told us they value:

  • Students study often (and long) here: 40% of students visit the library more than 3 times a week and fully 75% of students come at least once a week.  Most students spend at least an hour in the library when they visit and many stay more than 3 hours.  The most popular spaces in the building are the individual study spaces, the group spaces, and the Tech Suites.
  • Students rank library services as good or great:  Our friendly and helpful staff, our hours of operation, our group study spaces, and the access provided to electronic resources receiving the highest rankings.  
  • Students really like our popular reading collections: Many students appreciate having a variety of popular reading materials in the library.

Some student priorities for improvements:

  • Better access to food, particularly fresh food. The library will continue to work with campus food service leaders to restore fresh food / café options next year.
  • More power!  Students want more outlets and/or charging options. While adding wall outlets is costly we will look for lower cost ways to extend power to more study areas.
  • More (and more updated) study spaces – of all kinds – group, individual/quiet and Tech Suites. The library’s long-term capital plan will be on hold this year but we will continue to seek support for plans to add and modernize study space.

And finally, students (want to) avoid textbook costs:

  • 76% of responding students say they buy fewer than 25% of the required textbooks.
  • 89% responding say they spend less than $200 per year on their textbooks.
  • over 80% indicated they would like to see a ‘free or low-cost’ designation on courses in the catalog.

For more information about past library surveys, annual reports, or statistics, visit our online guide at: