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Library Student Experience Project: Customer Journey Maps

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On 13th April, 2018 sixteen students took part in a two-hour Customer Journey Mapping Workshop. Six Library staff facilitated the workshop. During this workshop we asked students to create a Customer Journey Map (CJM) of their research process.

The question asked of students was “What are the steps you take when completing essays, projects or other assignments for college?”

A CJM was defined for students as “A visualization of the series of interactions you have while attempting to research and write your college assignments.”

Students then created a CJM of their research process in pairs or alone. Afterwards they explained what their maps meant to them.

Library related findings

Using the Library

Students universally report using the Library and specifically OneSearch to identify scholarly materials for assignments.

Scholarly and non-scholarly Sources

Non-scholarly sources such Google, YouTube, SpakeNotes and others are used by students. Sometimes this is to get an overview of a topic. These sources are used along side academic books, journals and articles.


Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information available was the most common feeling reported. This usually occurs during the search process, when students are trying to identify relevant sources for their assignments.

Access Problems

Students report problems in accessing necessary books from the Library. They also commonly are blocked by "paywalls" when trying to access journal articles.

Referencing and Citation 

Many students marked Referencing and Citation  as a "pain point" during the research process. 

eBooks versus Print Books

There was disagreement on the format preferred. A number of students reported that they preferred print books as they find them easier to read. Others noted how convenient eBooks were, especially when recommended books are very heavy in their physical format.


Students often go to their Peers for help and discussion on assignments. They discuss content and structure of their work. Peers also act as proof-readers or editors.