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Summary of actions taken - 1999-2000

Robinson Library

Audio-visual services

U-matic tapes are being phased out and replaced with VHS tapes and the older U-matic video players are being replaced with VHS equipment.


The sign in the Café that gives instructions on using the vending machines has been improved and details have been added of the company that owns the machines and their responsibility.


The PCs running the library's web catalogue have been upgraded to improve performance and response time. There are also web catalogues now on low level tables for disabled users on Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Access to COPAC (the Consortium of University Research Libraries Online Public Access Catalogue) has been added to the options on the Telnet version of the library catalogue.


A mobile phone area has been created in the entrance foyer area and on the staircase of the library extension stairway. Both areas are clearly guided.

The library continues to work closely with the Estates Department to monitor and improve the airflow and temperature controls in the building.

Opening hours

The summer vacation opening hours have been extended to include two evenings to 7pm per week during June and July.


The library card number on the Smartcard has been enlarged to be more easily readable for poorly sighted users.

A declaration form has been introduced to help users with the variety of crime/incident numbers produced by different police forces. Users who report their Smartcard stolen and who have a crime/incident number different to the ones produced in Tyne and Wear declare on the form that their Smartcard has been stolen and the card is replaced without charge.

Student Text Collection (STC)

Two loan periods for stock in the STC have been introduced. They are:

  • four hours or overnight to the following morning
  • to the end of the next working day

The ladies toilet on Level 2 has been enlarged and the drinking cup dispensers in all the library toilets are now refilled during the summer vacation as well as during terms.

University computer service clusters

A University computer service adviser is now on duty in the Robinson Library for two sessions during weekends. The adviser is on duty on Saturdays 11.30am to 2pm and on Sundays 12.30 to 1.30pm.

Vandalised books

Double-sided copies of replacement pages are now provided for vandalised journals in order to restore the journal more closely to its original condition. Publicity continues to be given on the public information display system to emphasise the anti-social nature of vandalising library books and periodicals.

Walton Library


All suggestions for additions to stock were considered and actioned.

In particular, we ordered a range of books on British Sign Language, in response to a particular request.

Database network

Several users commented on the loss of the Local Holdings facility on Medline - we have now implemented an improvement that allows direct checking of the library OPAC from a Medline record. This is even better than the previous facility, as it provides accurate information about actual holdings rather than a general comment about availability.

When we moved over to an Internet-based, Athens password controlled version of PsycInfo in January, a number of NHS users enquired about gaining access to the service - after discussion with the suppliers, who agreed to access for all members of the library on a walk-in basis, we set up a password system that can be used by NHS members to access the database while in the library.

Issues and returns

Improvements were made to information about renewal options in the library's self-service leaflet.


Following feedback from Stage 2 students, we reviewed our teaching on finding journals in the library and have included substantially more information on this in sessions held this semester.

Carried over from last year - whiteboards were installed in discussion rooms.

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