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Summary of actions taken - 2005-2006

Robinson Library

Library staff and services

The largest single group of comments from the library's customers consisted of compliments and thanks for the service provided by the library's staff - either collectively or for particular individuals. In each case, the comments have been passed on to the colleagues concerned, and it is gratifying that so many people have taken the time and trouble to let the library know that they are satisfied with the service provided.

Lending services

In response to a number of comments and suggestions about the timing of overdue notices, and particularly the elapsed period between a book becoming overdue and a notice being sent, initial email reminders are now being sent two days earlier than before to let people know when their books become overdue.

Library environment

Levels of noise in the library elicited a number of complaints, mainly from students who were disturbed by other people talking in quiet study areas. As a result of these comments, a large new group study area has been set up on Level 1 of the library to provide a place where people may talk and discuss their work freely without causing a disturbance to others.

There were also several complaints from people who felt that the library, or certain parts of the building, were too cold, or, at other times of the year, too hot. On each occasion the library's buildings manager has followed up the matter and liaised with the University's Estates Services in order to investigate and resolve the problem as far as they were able.

Outstanding issues

Two sources of complaint remain outstanding and are currently subject to further investigation.

A number of people have suggested that the library's opening hours should be increased. However, it has been difficult to ascertain from the comments made when it would be most beneficial to open longer, what people wish to do in the library during any additional hours, and whether those needs might be met in different ways. In order to follow up this matter thoroughly and systematically, and to identify the most effective response, the library has commissioned a large-scale survey of all students and staff in the University which will take place in 2007.

Another source of complaint is the current policy of charging people £3 for the production of a day-pass to the library if they have forgotten or mislaid their personal Smartcards. It is regarded as important to ensure that Smartcards are used to gain entry to the library (as is the case in many other buildings in the University) for reasons of identification and security. In order to maintain security within the building, a day pass is produced for ID purposes when someone is unable to produce a Smartcard, and this carries an administrative cost. However, due to the strength of feeling this matter has generated, the library has undertaken to review its policy and to seek other ways of meeting its obligations to ensure the security of its customers.

Walton Library

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

  • There were complaints about the temperature in the library, particularly that it is too cold. This is an ongoing problem and after extensive discussions with estates, thermometers were placed around the library to log the temperature. Estates were persuaded that the ambient temperature was not high enough for users who were sitting still for long periods and they agreed to adjust the temperature upwards. This situation will be monitored as we move into the Winter period.
  • Complaints regarding the PCs/clusters were varied, from their being too much noise to cluster rooms being booked for teaching purposes. The library liaised closely with the IT Service regarding the problems, and notices were put up asking users to remember that the clusters were a work environment, and also timetables are now updated weekly to ensure users are clear when clusters may be closed for teaching.
  • A problem with the Smartcard barrier when it was introduced at the beginning of term resulted in long queues to enter the library and this prompted a flurry of comment forms. This problem was quickly rectified and there are no longer queues.
  • All suggestions for additions to stock were acted upon, and users informed when the items were ready for borrowing.
  • As with the entry barrier, there were teething problems with the use of the group rooms. Discussions at staff/student committees resulted in rules regarding access to and use of the rooms being changed.


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