Secret weapons

Survey reveals impact of lesser-known Libraries services

Feedback gathered in the 2015 MIT Libraries Survey brings to light some important ways the Libraries benefit the MIT community. In particular, users valued the time-saving research tips, more effective searching techniques, and research funding strategies the Libraries offer.

Time Management Tools
In an age when everyone struggles to manage time, many survey respondents agree that the Libraries can help. Almost three-quarters (73%) of faculty, postdocs, and research staff respondents and approximately two-thirds of MIT graduate students (64%) and undergraduates (67%) agree or strongly agree that the Libraries help them make more efficient use of their time. Some of these valuable timesavers include:

  • LibX, a browser add-on you can download for Firefox and Google Chrome, will give you easier access to MIT resources from anywhere.
  • Google Scholar preference settings allow you to access the MIT Libraries’ licensed copies of articles you find.
  • Research guides highlight specific search tools to help you find what you need in a range of subjects.

Survey respondents said:

“I like the LibX extension for Chrome and Firefox. Please ensure it continues and please help spread the word about it so researchers here use it and become more efficient.” –graduate student, EECS

“Google scholar and the MIT library links it turns up are the fastest path to finding something in my experience.” –graduate student, Program in Media Arts and Sciences

Savvy Searching
Want to search more effectively for what you need for your coursework or research? Ask a librarian for help. In cases where a librarian was involved in a class, 74% of student respondents indicated that they applied what they learned to their coursework. Even better, 60% of student respondents who were in classes where a librarian presented applied what they learned to situations beyond that class.

“Having someone visit my freshman year writing seminar was probably one of the most useful classes I’ve had!” –undergraduate student, chemical engineering

“I used the Libraries to research for my first HASS class. I was pleased that a librarian was able to teach us how to use the resources effectively. I also appreciated the course-specific website she set up for us.” –undergraduate student


survey chartSurvey chart


Research Funding Resources
Trying to get research funding or a grant? Check out the Libraries’ resources on grant funding, and ask a librarian for help.

The Libraries’ contribution to research advancement is essential: More than one-third (41%) of faculty, postdocs, and research staff respondents agree or strongly agree that the Libraries helped them get research funding and grants.

“Thank you so much for ILLiad [interlibrary borrowing] services! They have been essential to the grant proposals that I have been writing off campus.” –researcher, biology

The MIT Libraries can help you be more efficient in ways you may not have realized. Explore some of the services the Libraries offer to help you with research or coursework, and make a connection. You won’t be disappointed.