Research Article


A Survey of Knowledge and Use of Academic Library Services at a Pseudo-Satellite Location


Jason Lee

Collections and Resource Librarian

Cape Breton University

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada



Rachel Head

Literacy Services Librarian

Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada



Courtney Vienneau

Business Liaison Librarian

Cape Breton University

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada



Jasmine Hoover

Scholarly Communications Librarian

School of Science and Technology Liaison

Cape Breton University

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada



Martin Chandler

School of Arts and Social Sciences Liaison Librarian, Data & GIS Services Librarian

Cape Breton University

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada



Received: 6 June 2023                                                                Accepted: 5 Dec. 2023



Creative Commons C image 2024 Lee, Head, Vienneau, Hoover, and Chandler. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative CommonsAttributionNoncommercialShare Alike License 4.0 International (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, not used for commercial purposes, and, if transformed, the resulting work is redistributed under the same or similar license to this one.



DOI: 10.18438/eblip30375





Objective Following a rapid increase in student population over a five-year period, Cape Breton University leased additional teaching space from a nearby cinema chain but did not account for students’ library needs. The local nature of the venue, combined with issues in transit to the main campus, created “local-distance” students. These students were surveyed on awareness and use of library resources and services to inform future services.


Methods Students whose classes were primarily located at the cinema chain were engaged in an anonymous survey regarding their knowledge and use of library services. These data were then analyzed for common themes and recommendations.


Results There were notable gaps in student knowledge and use of library resources and services, perhaps owing to the primary source of information regarding these – namely, friends, professors, and the website. The need for further outreach and onsite library workers was highlighted, as was the importance of library as space.


Conclusion While the library handled the new venue as well as possible, it is crucial for administrators involved in change management to remember that student learning involves more than individuals in a classroom seat.





Cape Breton University (CBU) underwent significant growth between 2017 and 2023, with the student population ballooning from approximately 2,500 students to over 7,500 individuals. This growth was primarily driven by international enrollment, which as of spring 2023 made up approximately 70% of the student population (Cameron, 2022). With this rapid increase, issues around classroom space grew and the university looked off site for space to deliver courses. In January 2022, the university began offering courses from the post baccalaureate (post bac) program, one of its largest programs and which mostly consists of international students, at the Cineplex movie theatre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, with plans to continue this for at least three years. Post bac programs taught at the Cineplex location include health care management, business analytics, business management, and supply chain management. These programs are targeted toward international students as they are two-year, post bac programs. In fact, only two students enrolled in the post bac diploma in business management in May 2023 were domestic (Hogan, 2023).


Lectures at movie theatres are not a new initiative; many other universities have used this model before, including Toronto Metropolitan University (Brown, 2008) and Dalhousie University (McLeod, 2012). However, there are key differences at CBU, including the distance from the main campus to the movie theatre and the makeup of the student body. While most other universities using this model are within walking distance of the theatres, CBU is on a highway between communities, and the theatre is in downtown Sydney, approximately 13 kilometers away. Because this space is a series of temporary rented spaces, rather than a planned continuing presence, it can at most be considered “pseudo-satellite.” This, coupled with long-standing issues in transportation infrastructure in Cape Breton, effectively make these students into “local-distance” students.


Secondly, the student body is mostly international, with most relying on public transportation and potentially not being aware of what academic libraries in Canada offer. This has left students with several complaints, often citing the library as a key space on which they are missing out due to their location (Latimer, 2022). Latimer (2022) reported on one student’s experience in an interview: “She wants to be able to visit the library in between classes, but the bus schedule doesn’t leave enough time to commute” (para. 11). The president of the student union noted that students at Cineplex are missing out on study spaces and community connection (Armstrong, 2022).


The focus on the post bac delivery at the cinema further creates an issue of segregation by virtue of a system set up by CBU administration. Students in post bac programs are almost entirely international students, and 86% of students in these programs are from the Indian subcontinent. The student union president pointed out that students “came here to study as well as explore and interact with Canadian culture” and they “want to make new friends, to be involved with students from other countries,” however “there isn’t that environment at the Cineplex” (Armstrong, 2022, paras. 10-11.). While this segregation may not have been intentional on the part of the institution, systemic colonialism remains an ongoing issue in postsecondary education, perpetuated by such nonreflective solutions (Lee & Rice, 2007).


While libraries offer an array of online services, accessible from anywhere, students mentioned the library when discussing issues around having classes at the cinema. These comments from students prompted the librarians at CBU to investigate what the students valued and wanted from the library, and what they were aware of when it came to library services and space.


Literature Review


There is existing literature about both satellite and distance students’ perceptions and behaviours regarding library services and spaces. It was difficult to differentiate these two groups as some of the literature described students attending satellite campus as distance students and the terms were used interchangeably throughout the literature. Also, in the literature, distance and online students were used interchangeably, so studies focusing solely on online students were left out. The CBU case is also unique as the Cineplex is not a satellite campus, but rather a series of movie theatre rooms rented for use during the day. Similarly, the students are not distance students, as they can and do travel to campus for some classes and services and live in the community. We have therefore named these students “local-distance students,” being not quite at a satellite campus, but nonetheless learning in a space removed from the main campus. These students attend the majority, if not all, of their classes at the cinema location and therefore may experience many similar issues as satellite or distance students outlined in the literature.


As satellite and distance programs increase, libraries are faced with a new user population to serve, and a growing need to better understand their needs. Hays et al. (2021) outlined barriers satellite students might face, including the “lack of educational resources and services such as [the] library” (p 228). Previous researchers have found that students attending satellite campuses feel detached from both the main campus and the library (Dalal & Lackie, 2014; Eva, 2012). This detached feeling was despite libraries offering distance library services such as online reference and instruction, as well as the majority of research resources being offered digitally (Scoulas & De Groote, 2020).


Distance and satellite students also have feelings of isolation and miss the interaction with classmates around finding information (de Jong & Branch, 2006). The feelings of detachment seen in satellite and distance students demonstrate students’ views of the library as “place.” There were several studies where researchers looked at students’ use of the library, demonstrating that the library was more than resources, and was a key place to study, do group work, socialize, and learn (Applegate, 2009; Asher, 2017). Also, one of the barriers satellite students faced was limited space to study at home (Hays et al., 2021). Library offerings such as study and meeting spaces, computer labs, printing, study rooms, and quiet study areas are examples of the kinds of services or spaces that can be unavailable for students in the distance or satellite environment. In fact, the libraries have often been described as a “third place” based on Ray Oldenburg’s work on the importance of public gathering places (Oldenburg, 1997; Harris, 2007). Libraries have been viewed as places to learn and study as well as socialize and gather (Harris, 2007; Zhou et al., 2022)


Pastula (2010) outlined that distance students are often less aware of library services than their in-person counterparts. de Jong and Branch (2006) researched how distance students find resources and found that simply providing access does not automatically translate into usage of those resources, and many distance students are unaware of library services. Distance learners also have been found to rely more on local sources for information seeking rather than their university library, including public libraries, classmates, coworkers, and family members (de Jong & Branch, 2006; Thórsteinsdóttir, 2001). Coonin et al. (2011) outlined several initiatives to facilitate access and awareness of the library for distance students. They included easy access to materials, an online environment specific to distance students, and increased instruction opportunities, including video tutorials and online workshops. Coonin et al. also recommended availability at the point of need, and suggested custom, program-specific landing pages for students in distance programs, as well as embedding library resources and librarians into learning management systems (LMS). Having a librarian in the classroom is an effective way to familiarize students with the librarian and library services (Callison et al., 2005). Ismail (2016) found that students attending a satellite campus preferred instruction from librarians directly. However, one researcher found that the majority of faculty teaching satellite classes reported doing the library orientation themselves rather than inviting a librarian in (Ismail, 2010).


Because CBU’s post bac programs are in the Shannon School of Business (SSOB), and populated mostly by international students, it is also relevant to note that researchers have found that business majors make significant use of learning commons within libraries, as do international students (Asher, 2017; Zhou et al., 2022). Also related to CBU’s situation, several researchers have studied international students’ relationships with the academic library. These researchers outlined that international students faced additional barriers, including language barriers, differences in their understanding of plagiarism, anxiety, and lack of awareness of library services (Hughes, 2010; Zip, 2019) Depending on where the students are from, their understanding and experience with technology may not be the same as local students (Burel et al., 2019). There may also be differing ideas of what a university library does and does not do. It’s possible, therefore, that challenges these CBU students face with library services due to attending courses away from the main campus are compounded by the additional challenges that international students often face.




This study was prompted by librarians’ desire to better meet the needs of a quickly growing and changing student population and the university administration’s change in the primary location for instruction delivery to a satellite campus, necessitated by space concerns. Given the turmoil that these multiple changes created, it behooved the library staff to ensure that access to resources and programming was reaching all students equitably. After receiving approval from CBU’s Research Ethics Board, we created a survey (see Appendix B) and delivered it using Microsoft Forms. We recruited students via email and social media, with recruitment emails sent specifically to those students in the post bac programs at CBU. We also posted the survey to the library’s social media, including Facebook, noting it was specifically for post bac students. We developed questions to gather information about both students’ knowledge and use of library services and resources. The survey was available for four weeks, with a reminder sent after two weeks. Students were informed they would be entered into a drawing for a “small prize”—a $20 gift card for a local coffee and baked goods fast food chain. All identifying information was removed from the data following the prize draw.


There were approximately 1,500 students in the post bac program during the Fall 2022 semester. The survey garnered 273 responses, offering a response rate of approximately 18%. This is slightly below Qualtrics’ (2023) 20-30% standard, but not altogether unheard of or concerning for the purposes of our analysis.


For the majority of questions, students were prompted to select from a list of services the library provides, indicating whether they were aware of, and if they used, those services. The final question was open-ended, allowing students to note what services they would like to see the library provide, and how the library can better support students at the satellite campus. This section was completed by 180 respondents. These responses were extracted from the overall dataset, and the authors conducted a content analysis to determine high level services desired by students. Content analysis involves the systematic coding, analysis, and inferring of meaning from qualitative data (Rod et al., 2021; Stemler 2000). While many researchers rely on software, this dataset included only 180 data points for coding, making manual coding manageable and, with specialized topics, preferable (Rod et al., 2021).


The authors were each provided with the dataset and given nonprescriptive instructions to code it for particular themes they saw emerging in the comments. Each author was left to interpret this instruction as they saw fit, and the coded datasets were collected. All codes were compiled into one spreadsheet, with the coders’ names masked. We then organized a meeting during which we compared the data codes for thematic overlap—largely, the themes elicited were similar, and any discrepancies were discussed to clarify meaning and context until agreement was reached. We created a final codebook (see Appendix A), and re-coded the dataset based on this. Agreement was high, approximately 76%, and the discussion between coders to clarify issues resulted in near-total agreement, allowing the assurance of reliability in the data coding and results (Kurasaki, 2000; Rod et al., 2021).


For questions that were not open-ended, the authors examined the needs of students attending some or all classes at the Cineplex location, where no library space exists, and library presence is limited to a liaison librarian only on scheduled days. We made comparisons between services students were aware of and services they made use of, as well as how students learned of the available services. This will help inform future service promotion, as well as identify services that can easily be added and those that may require concerted efforts to campaign administration for funding.


The authors recognize that there were limitations in the data collected, and in the collection methods. Because very little demographic information was collected, we cannot properly account for cultural influences on responses. Conversely, the overwhelming majority of the post bac students are of South Asian origin, which limits the cultural background of respondents. The data collected were further limited to one cohort of students, spanning a relatively short two-year diploma period. Finally, the students involved were limited to students at CBU, living in Sydney, Nova Scotia and attending courses at the Cineplex location in downtown Sydney. CBU also has a satellite campus in Egypt but students at this location were not included. Finally, the data analysis did not account for any systemic issues in socio-cultural or linguistic differences. While every effort was made to craft clear, broadly understood questions, and the data analysis did not reveal any notable issues in understanding, it is worth stating that the survey was not tested with any student groups prior to launch.


The survey results, de-identified for privacy, are available on CBU’s instance of Borealis data repository for future research and data sharing (Lee et al., 2023).




Respondents to the anonymous survey included 273 students ranging from their first and second year of post bac studies. All respondents were international students.


Participants were asked where most of their classes were held. 11.7% of respondents (n=32) indicated the main CBU campus, 65.2% of respondents (n=178) indicated the Cineplex, and 22.0% (n=60) selected “Some of each”. Three students did not respond to this question.


Participants were asked to indicate which in-person library or archival services they were aware of, and subsequently which in-person services they used. Their responses are outlined in Figure 2.


In Figure 3, a similar question was posed to the participants about their awareness and usage of the library’s and archive’s online services.


Figures 2 and 3 demonstrate that the respondents were more aware of and used in-person library or archive services than online library services; the exception being in the use of research materials, which showed a slightly higher usage for online access. Borrowing books and laptops, using the study rooms and computer workstations, and printing were all well-known and used services in the library. Of particular interest was that less than half of respondents were aware that research help was available with a librarian. Part of this may be due to the library not having a physical presence downtown.


Figure 1
Survey respondents indicated where most of their classes were held.

Figure 1

Survey respondents indicated where most of their classes were held.


Figure 2
Which of the following in-person services are you aware of or have used in the library/archives?

Figure 2

Which of the following in-person services are you aware of or have used in the library/archives?


Figure 3
Which of the following online services are you aware of or have used in the library/ archives?

Figure 3

Which of the following online services are you aware of or have used in the library/ archives?


When asked how they learned about the library and its services, participants were allowed to choose more than one option. As seen in Figure 4, the most common way that respondents learned about the library and its services was from “Friends,” followed by the library’s “Website” or a “Professor.” “Librarians” and “Social Media” were half as likely to be selected as “Friends”; “Other” was selected by only three respondents.


Respondents were then asked to indicate their comfort level in locating library and archival resources, from very comfortable to very uncomfortable. As shown in Figure 5, 34.4% of participants (n=94) chose “Very comfortable,” 31.1% (n=85) chose “Somewhat comfortable,” 17.9% (n=49) chose “Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable,” 8.8% (n=24) chose “Somewhat uncomfortable,” and 5.8% (n=16) chose “Very uncomfortable.”


Next, respondents were asked about the barriers they faced when accessing the library’s services. They were allowed to pick multiple options. As seen in Figure 6, the top barriers that respondents faced were “Travel between campuses” and “Unaware of services” that the library provides.


Lastly, in an open question, 179 participants provided short answer responses when asked what services and supports they would like to see from the CBU library while studying at the Cineplex. The responses were analyzed and categorized into seven major themes as seen in Figure 7. From the responses, by far the most common theme with 73 mentions was “Space” (satellite library onsite, study rooms, quiet area, and so on)—with one respondent suggesting “Start a library there, at least a small one.” A smaller number of respondents, 36, were interested in further “Outreach/education,” exemplified by the comment: “Before the start of the class on the very 1st day, the Prof should invite the Librarian to teach the student how to use the library online, especially on references and citations. Handing out some guidelines, and paper we can keep as a step-by-step guide. Even if it was taught to us sometimes we forget it.” There were 33 mentions related to “Other or non-library,” including statements such as “Travel from Cineplex to the library is an inconvenience,” and “Cineplex should not exist.” There were 31 mentions of  Technical (printing/laptops/etc.),” including a comment that “We would like to be able to print and scan documents at the Cineplex. We would also like to get internet at higher speeds as currently it is very, very slow.” There were 18 asking for “Services (onsite librarian/library worker),” including the comment that “A volunteer for Library related tasks should be there, as we are not able use full utilities of university facility for what we paid.” There were 10 indications that they were “All Good,” with statements like “It’s fantastic!! I like all the services.” Some “All Good” cases may be due to students who chose to live on campus; one commented to that effect, saying “I live on campus so I have access to the library. To be honest, if I didn’t live on campus, I don’t think I would come to campus just to use the library.”


Figure 4
Where did you learn about the library and its services?

Figure 4

Where did you learn about the library and its services?


Figure 5
How comfortable are you with locating resources for your classes and assignments using the library/ archive?

Figure 5

How comfortable are you with locating resources for your classes and assignments using the library/ archive?


Figure 6

What barriers to accessing library services do you face?


Figure 7
Major themes of services/support wanted by students.

Figure 7

Major themes of services/support wanted by students.




As seen in Figures 2 and 3, many students noted that they are aware of library services including accessing materials such as books and articles, online resources, using the study rooms, printing, and using computer stations. Students were less aware of services such as online reference or interlibrary loan. Interestingly, many were unaware of online reference help, which may be more beneficial to this demographic of students not attending classes on campus. CBU is part of a province-wide shared online reference initiative, Novanet LiveHelp, which offers extended online reference hours, including evenings and weekends. An awareness campaign for our online reference and chat services might alleviate this issue and draw attention to the availability of reference services from CBU.


Furthermore, although students were aware of some library services, they did not make use of them, which may signify that our services are not aligning well with our user’s needs, or that they are unable to access them due to location. For example, several respondents were aware of in-person reference help from librarians; however, less than half had actually used the service. Many academic libraries have moved away from traditional reference desk services due to lack of use, and instead have worked on initiatives such as single point of access desks that include circulation, IT, and referrals to reference, increased library presence in classrooms and online classrooms, and more responsive online library services (McClure & Bravender, 2013; Sobol, 2020). The CBU library is currently evaluating the service desk model and hopes to begin renovations to establish a single service point.


There was also some confusion around library services that came out in the free-form answers in the survey. For example, several respondents suggested lending books for longer periods of time (weeks) for students in the post bac program; they commented on not being able to take books home, which suggests they were talking about reserve books, because books in the stacks are available to take home for weeks at a time. Some other suggestions, such as “access to free ebooks,” “online tutorials,” and “online information,” are all things currently offered by the library. This demonstrated a need for library outreach and training for students who may be new to Canadian university libraries, aligning with findings in the literature of increased barriers for international students (Zip, 2019). This issue is compounded for local-distance students who may not receive the same kind of introduction to the library at the cinema that they would on campus (library tours, information sessions, and so on). There are online services the library offers that would be particularly useful for local-distance students who are unable to come to the library.


When asked where students were learning about library services, participants responded that they learned from friends, the website, and their professor most often, as shown in Figure 4. The library website is a key resource for all students, but especially for those who are disconnected from the physical space. It is important for the CBU library to continually review and update the website based on current trends and user needs. It is also important to embed liaison librarians into courses in the post bac programs. This embedding can be physically, offering in-person sessions, but also online by embedding themselves or the library in the LMS (Moodle in CBU’s case) courses. The liaison librarian currently offers instruction upon faculty’s request and as of March 2023 has conducted 17 in-class sessions at the movie theatre. Outreach to faculty is key; as noted in the literature review, professors teaching in satellite locations often do the library orientation themselves, rather than inviting a librarian in (Ismail, 2010). It may be important for the liaison librarian to actively reach out and offer library sessions so that faculty members know it is not a burden for the librarian to come to the cinema. Because of the rapid growth in this program, many of the instructors are also sessional, and may not be aware of library services, or who their liaison is.


Interestingly, respondents mostly felt comfortable or moderately comfortable finding material for their coursework, as seen in Figure 5. However, as one of the barriers noted in Figure 6 is familiarity with searching, it is possible that students are given basic access to materials needed in their courses via Moodle and library course reserves but are less aware of how to search for additional resources.


When asked what barriers they face in accessing library services (Figure 6), the majority noted that the physical distance was the biggest barrier, with lack of awareness of library services as second, and lack of familiarity with searching or not knowing where to start as third. Although CBU librarians cannot fix the largest barrier, work on awareness and education targeted for post bac students in the future will be a priority. Currently, the liaison librarian for the post bac program in the SSOB offers library services information in the Cineplex lobby at the beginning of each term, answering questions and passing out information. In September 2022, an additional new downtown space was added at 500 George Street, an approximately five-minute walk from the Cineplex location; the liaison also has regular office hours at this location.


As seen in Figure 7, space was the most common request in the open-ended responses. Students attending most of their classes at Cineplex felt disconnected from the main campus library, and value the library as a “place,” feeling that they are missing out on that due to location. The most common suggestion from the survey was opening a physical satellite library at the Cineplex location. Students commented: “Provide facilities at cineplex that have been provided at the CBU Library,” “I would like a quiet environment to study in between classes,” “Start a library there, at least a small one,” “Computers at Cineplex would be useful,” and “Need a proper space in Cineplex for self study.” This further reinforces the idea of the library as a third space outlined in the literature review, as students view the library not only as a collection of resources but as a place, in this case for studying, learning, and more (Waxman et al., 2007).


In fact, the CBU library is a major hub in the university and is in dire need of more space. In 2019–2020, before opening the Cineplex location and COVID-induced closures, the library—originally built for a university with around 2000 students—had a gate count of 414,000, or around 34,500 a month. Since opening Cineplex, the gate count has been cut in half. Still, the study rooms at CBU are often fully booked with over 11,000 bookings a year. Unfortunately, although this was by far the leading suggestion, there is no plan to bring a physical library space to Cineplex.


The second most common theme in the suggestions was outreach, and there is great potential to improve library awareness to students studying at Cineplex through our outreach initiatives. Specific suggestions such as a weekly library newsletter, workshops, and other training options could potentially reach a large portion of students and increase awareness. CBU’s social media is a major outreach tool, and now is part of the job description for a staff member. The library recently began a TikTok channel in an effort to remain up to date with social media platforms. Because Cineplex students find it difficult to access campus, a push toward some of the ideas presented by Coonin et al. (2011) in the literature review may be appropriate, including online workshops, quick tutorial videos, their own landing page, and embedding the library in the LMS. The CBU library has contacted our LMS staff to inquire about embedding library resources, however, we have not yet had a reply. Outreach and awareness are also being done through in-class library instruction sessions, which introduce students to the librarian in their area, and familiarize them with library services. The importance of working closely with faculty teaching at the off-site location to embed the librarian and the library resources in their courses is key. This can be done by having librarians teach at the satellite location or online, having librarians in the LMS course as instructors or helpers, or by taking advantage of software linkages such as subject guides or LibGuides, which can be inserted right into the LMS, with the librarian focusing on custom resources for that course. LMS integration will depend on support from IT services and instructors. With the approval of an additional, limited term liaison librarian to the SSOB, there will be an increased librarian presence at Cineplex for the 2023 fall semester.


After student outcry (Armstrong, 2022), there have been recent initiatives from the university to try and address some of the issues, including reduced cost bus fare and a shuttle between Cineplex and the main campus. 500 George offers students printing services and six study rooms booked through the library’s LibCal interface. This new service was not widely advertised to the university community outside of the CBU library’s social media and in the SSOB liaison librarian’s instructional sessions; it is unfortunate that the library did not receive university support for this communication.


Other services typically offered at a library space that were suggested by respondents in the survey include course reserve availability and laptop and calculator rentals. The library could increase the borrowing periods for course reserves and calculators needed for post bac classes, though this will depend on funding to increase the number of copies on reserve to ensure equitable access. Such an initiative would enable students to borrow at the campus library, attend their classes, and then return the item to the library. The library did put forward a job description for one circulation staff member to offer check-out and check-in of books and some reserve items, laptops, and basic library information and assistance at the 500 George location, but it was not approved. The SSOB liaison librarian offers weekly office hours at 500 George in an effort to meet post bac students closer to their classrooms. This service is advertised by the library’s social media channels and on screens within the movie theatre. Five appointments were held during the liaison librarian’s office hours at 500 George during the winter 2023 semester. Faculty and students commented to the librarian that they appreciated the option to meet locally.


Working with IT to better embed the library and its resources into the LMS is something that the CBU library is focusing on in the short term. The idea of a weekly or monthly newsletter would be facilitated through a mailing list managed by IT and it is important to continue to develop the relationship between the two units. The CBU library could also investigate ways to increase our social media following. Similarly, online services are important for this demographic of students, and work should be done to improve the library website, promote our live chat service for reference, and offer online workshops and tutorials.


There is a lingering concern of library as “place,” and gate counts demonstrate the high use of the library when students are on campus. The library was built in 1974 and was originally intended to serve around 2,000 students. With ever-increasing enrollment numbers, currently at over 7,500, with a goal of 10,000 in the next 5 years, the library is beyond maximum capacity, and will not be capable of supporting all students without significant renovations and extensions. There are talks of ways to increase the library’s footprint, and surveys such as this that demonstrate the importance students assign to library as “place” will be important for any new builds or renovations.


Future Directions


Future research such as investigating the opinions of faculty teaching at Cineplex could increase understanding of what services to offer to students studying off campus. Surveying faculty and instructors may help library staff identify ways in which the library could better support classes held at Cineplex from the instruction viewpoint. For example, if there are a high number of classes requiring scientific calculators for tests, the library can plan a regular onsite service at a specific time of day each week. Furthermore, library staff and the SSOB liaison librarian can work with faculty, instructors, and staff on site to ensure that the library has an active presence while students continue to study at the movie theatre.


As noted above, the approval of a second librarian to assist with the SSOB liaison work, where the post bac program resides, may also increase awareness, and ease the burden of access. A second study, to be completed in 2–3 years’ time, may be beneficial to see if student awareness and use of services improves with increased capability of presence. A longitudinal study could bring interesting results, both in terms of the university’s overall capability of adapting to changing geographic needs, and in the library’s adaptation to the demands of communication in a changing environment. In a related vein, it may also be worthwhile to study distance and ease of travel as a predictor of library use; while this case offers a particular instance of too distant for convenient access and limited public transit options, even studying universities with large campuses may offer insights into the distance a student is willing to travel to access a library.


As this study was limited primarily to a specific subsection of the university (i.e., students in the post bac program, which is almost entirely international students), it would be worthwhile to study the experiences and needs of students in other programs who have courses at nearby offsite locations. Furthermore, a greater understanding of the needs of domestic versus international students in the same program would also be useful should a larger number of domestic students enroll in the post bac program. Indeed, studying a broader range of demographic groups in general would be worthwhile should such an opportunity present itself.


Finally, the survey only captured the needs and knowledge of students at the pseudo-satellite campus. No comparisons were drawn between students at this location and students fully on campus. Such comparisons can be studied in future works, or comparative analysis done by future researchers to find any overlaps in needs.




CBU’s administration announced the Cineplex location as a teaching space for the post bac program in response to an unplanned influx of students. Because the library was not included in the planning for this space, students noted a lack of key student space and services. The physical disconnect from the library may have led to reduced student awareness of, and access to, library services. The survey results showed that local-distance students want library spaces and services. When universities are designing satellite locations, it is imperative that consideration is given not only the spaces for teaching, but other spaces students value that foster learning, including the library.


Author Contributions


Jason Lee: Writing – original draft, review & editing (equal) Rachel Head: Charts and Graphs (lead), Writing – original draft, review & editing (equal) Courtney Vienneau: Writing – original draft, review & editing (equal) Jasmine Hoover: Charts and Graphs (editor), Writing – original draft, review & editing (equal) Martin Chandler Methodology (lead), Writing – original draft, review & editing (equal)




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Appendix A



  1. Space (satellite/onsite library, study)
  2. Access to research material
  3. Technical (printing, laptops, etc.)
  4. Outreach/education
  5. Services (on-site librarian/library worker)
  6. Other or non-library
  7. All Good



Appendix B

Library and Archive Services to Satellite Campus Survey


* Required


1.      Informed Consent and Data Reuse


You are invited to participate in this short (3 minutes to complete) survey to share your insight and observations regarding Library and Archive Services to students taking courses at the Cineplex location. You may leave the survey at any time, and taking part, refusing, or leave the survey will in no way impact your academic or personal life at CBU. If you are experiencing any difficulties or distress, please remember that CBU has mental health resources available to you:


Confidentiality: No personal, identifying information will be collected in this survey.


Data: The survey tool and data are hosted in Canada, and an analyzed, aggregated data set will be made available on CBU's instance of Dataverse for possible reuse and further research.


Survey results: The main study findings may be published in academic journal articles and/or presented at conferences. Data will be reported and stored in aggregate format. Anonymous quotations from open- ended survey questions may be published.


Any questions about the survey can be directed to: (902-563-1996) or (902-563-1231). The research office can be contacted at, or 902-563-1107.


This research has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Board, any ethical concerns can be directed to:


Co-Chairs, Andrew Molloy ( or Bishakha Mazumdar (


Contact Jared Walters, CBU REB Administrator, at if you have any general questions about the ethics process at CBU.


* Do you consent to taking part in the survey?



About You

In order to ensure we include the diversity of the CBU student body, we would like to ask a few questions about you as a student.


2.      You are a


·        International student

·        Canadian student (non-Nova Scotian)

·        Nova Scotian student


3.      Your program of study:


·        Post-Baccalaureate in Health Care management

·        Post-Baccalaureate in Business Analytics

·        Post-Baccalaureate in Business management

·        Post-Baccalaureate in Supply Chain Management Other


4.      Year of study


·        1st year

·        2nd year

·        Other


5.      Most of your classes are at


·        Main CBU Campus

·        Cineplex

·        Some at each



Your Library & Archives Experience

We'd like to know how/if you interact with and use library and archive services and resources.


6.      Which of the following in-person services are you aware of at the library/archives? (select multiple)


·        Accessing books and articles

·        Borrowing a laptop, Using Computer Stations or Computer Lab

·        Study rooms

·        Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery

·        Research help with a librarian / archivist

·        Printing / Photocopying / Scanning /3d Printing

·        Other


7.      Which of these Online Services from the CBU Library are you aware of? (can select multiple)


·        Live Reference Chat and Online Research Help

·        Online Library Resources (Catalogue, databases, ebooks, subject guides, etc)

·        Digital Archives

·        Streaming movies / music

·        Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery

·        Other


8.      Which of the following in-person services have you used at the library/archives? (select multiple)


·        Accessing Books and Articles

·        Borrowing a laptop, Using Computer Stations or Computer Lab

·        Study rooms

·        Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery

·        Research help with a librarian / archivist

·        Printing / Photocopying / Scanning /3d Printing

·        Other


9.      Which of these Online Services from the CBU Library have you used? (Can select multiple)


·        Live Reference Chat and Online Research Help

·        Online Library Resources (Catalogue, databases, ebooks, subject guides, etc.) 

·        Digital Archives

·        Streaming movies / music

·        Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery

·        Other


10.   Where did you learn about the library and its services?


·        Professor

·        Librarian

·        Website

·        Friends

·        Social Media

·        Other


11.   How comfortable are you with locating resources for your classes and assignments using the library / archive?


·        Very comfortable

·        Somewhat comfortable

·        Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable

·        Somewhat uncomfortable

·        Very uncomfortable


12.   What barriers to accessing library services do you face? (select multiple)


·        Unaware of services

·        Travel between campuses

·        Lack of technology (laptop, internet) 

·        Don't know who to ask or where to look 

·        Accessibility issues

·        Unable to login / access

·        Not familiar with searching for resources / don't know where to start researching

·        Other


13.   What would services like to see from the CBU Library? Specifically for those studying at Cineplex, how could we support you?


Thank you for your time!


Remember, mental health resources are available to all CBU students! Please go to for more information



14.   If you would like to be eligible to win a prize, please enter your CBU email address here (emails will not be correlated with responses, and will be deleted following the draw):