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Summary of actions taken - 2003-2004

Robinson Library

Library staff and services

It was pleasing to note that many compliments were received about the high standard of service provided by the library and praise for help received from staff in general or specific individuals. Specific comments were forwarded to individuals or teams within the library. All complaints were investigated and suggestions considered by the relevant library team.

Loan system

The introduction of a new automated library system which controls both the issuing and return of books and the catalogue. There were some initial teething problems with the catalogue which prompted a number of complaints, but these were dealt with as they occurred and are now all solved. A fault with the courtesy notices later in the year also caused a flurry of comments forms, but we are happy to report that this fault has now been addressed.


Despite close liaison with the University Estates Office, the library continues to be either too hot or too cold for users. The library Building Manager and porters monitor temperatures on a day-to-day basis and request any modifications to the temperature or humidity controls. Additional cleaner time has now been made available in the afternoons to help keep the public toilets in a better condition.

Notices and manifestations have now been added to the new front doors after some complaints regarding users walking into the glass doors, and additional notices have also been posted to aid users when queuing for services.

Electronic resources

All queries regarding specific electronic resources were followed up with the individual users. We rely on vigilant users to inform us when resources are not working as it is difficult to monitor the thousands of electronic journals we subscribe to, and are pleased to receive comments from patrons to enable us to maintain accuracy and access.

Walton Library

Particular issues which emerged from an analysis of the comments received are listed below.

  • The majority of the complaints about the building and the environment were regarding the low temperatures in certain sections of the Walton Library. This is an ongoing matter of concern, and involved monitoring and logging of temperatures and discussions with Estates. Only in the last month have Estates agreed to raise the temperature in the library by 1.5 degrees. I am in dialogue with a group of students to see if this has resolved the problem. This is an ongoing problem which has arisen due to the redevelopment works in the whole of the Catherine Cookson Building.
  • Complaints about the computing and PCs were mainly as a result of the redevelopment works. Students were annoyed that the Glen cluster was being closed for teaching sessions. We took this opportunity to explain that the cluster is not an open access cluster, not does it belong to the IT Service, and that its primary function is as a teaching room. This seems to have stemmed the complaints.
  • Periodical subscriptions remain a thorny issue with half of the complainants unhappy because we do not subscribe to electronic versions of certain journals. The Walton Library also removed the current journals shelves and interfiled current and bound journals. This created a flurry of complaints, but this too, seems to have settled down now.
  • Complaints regarding the catalogue arose after the change to the new Aleph system, and seem to have been to do with users getting used to the new interface. These too have tailed off now that readers are familiarising themselves with the new system.


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