Summary of actions taken – 2016-17

Philip Robinson Library

Particular issues which emerged from analysis of comments received:

Leaving belongings unattended to reserve study spaces and computers

Students leaving unattended belongings on desks continues to be an issue. Not only is it unfair to students looking for a space to study when the Philip Robinson Library is very busy, but it places belongings at risk of theft. Views on the 15 minute rule are varied. Some concerns were raised about Library staff removing belongings after 15 minutes as this provides insufficient time for students to take a meal break, other complaints related to the perception that we do not remove belongings quickly or consistently enough to make spaces available. We only remove belongings when the library is very busy and will not remove them unless at least 15 minutes have passed. We are keeping the 15 minute rule under review as we continue to try to accommodate all of the customers who wish to use our study spaces.  

Access to the library without a University smartcard

Some complaints were received by students who had to pay £3 for a day access pass to the library after forgetting their smartcard more than once. We would prefer not to make this charge but the charge is necessary to discourage some people from repeatedly forgetting their Smartcard.  All our libraries are very busy and issuing daily passes not only takes up staff time but can impede the movement of customers into our building.

Food and drink

The importance of access to food and drink whilst studying for long periods in the library continues to be highlighted when we have issues with the supply of hot and cold drinking water as well as vending machines. The Library continues to work closely with University Catering to resolve issues and queries as quickly as possible to keep disruptions to a minimum. Though we continue to allow students to bring and eat their own food in designated parts of the library, we felt it inappropriate to take forward suggestions to make microwaves available. Previously we have trialled offering a microwave for re-heating food in the café but it resulted in poor cleanliness and hygiene issues.


During late December and early January we received a significant number of complaints regarding how cold some parts of the Philip Robinson Library was. There were also issues with regards to cooling the building when the external temperature quickly escalated and we were very warm in mid-May. We continuously work with Estates Support Service who are responsible for controlling the heating of each of our libraries to try to attain a standard 21 degrees throughout our buildings when we are open to users. It is not always easy to deliver this consistently with a very large building but customer feedback assists us to identify problem areas.

Compliments about staff and services

Over the past twelve months we have received numerous written compliments about our staff and services. For example, a number of users of the Writing Development Centre and Print Services took time to write about how much they appreciated their services and the advice staff provided. Indeed Staff from all parts of the library were praised for their helpfulness and friendliness. Positive feedback is always much appreciated by our teams as it is always good to hear we are doing a good job.

Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms


We received a high number of complaints about the low temperatures in different parts of the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. We are working with the University’s Estates Support Service to adjust the heating and ventilation systems as problems are reported and have a plan to upgrade the building systems.

Noise in silent areas

Over the past year we have received a small number of complaints about people talking in the silent areas. Even when customers whisper to each other it can be very distracting to others. We continue to monitor silent study areas and encourage customers to use the Library Noise Alert Service (text number 07891 484 764).

Multi-functional photocopiers

We received a number of requests to have a photocopier installed at Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms since it opened. Over the summer a multi-function photocopier was installed on the 4th floor of Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. We will be monitoring its use to see if it meets the customers’ needs.

Compliments regarding the study space and staff

Over 2016/17 we received many compliments formally and informally about how nice the study space and staff are at the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. Thank you to all of our customers who took the trouble to provide such positive feedback. 

Walton Library

Suggestions for stock

The majority of comments received were to suggestion additional copies of texts or to the Clinical Skills collection. We responded positively to all of these requests except requests for journal titles where, unfortunately we have no budget for additional subscriptions. These requests were added to the Faculty wishlist for future consideration.

Cafe provision

There were complaints about the cafe provision, notably the water fountain which is very high maintenance! We are refurbishing the café provision this Summer (2017) and hope to provide much better facilities from the start of the new academic year.

Walton Library environment

There were a number of complaints around noise, both in the Library and the clusters and we are working to promote the noise texting service and to work with NUIT to manage the noise levels in the clusters.



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