What do students get up to in university libraries? The survey carried out by librarians at the Université Bordeaux 3 in 2008 shed light on how students use the service. The analysis revealed the variety of uses to which the libraries are put, which are far wider than their primary function as tools to aid students in their university studies. At a time when user surveys are becoming commonplace, it is vital to think about the aim of such surveys: how much do libraries need to know about their users? Understanding the full complexity and diversity of readers and their cultural practices is a vital step in moving towards the university libraries of tomorrow.