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Summary of actions taken – 2017-18

Philip Robinson Library


Over the past year a number of issues around cleanliness of study spaces, equipment and shared facilities such as toilets have been raised. The Library continues to work closely with colleagues from Estates Support Services and IT Services to maintain a clean and comfortable environment for all. However, we do rely on customers to keep the building tidy and litter free.


Balancing the temperature across a very large building such as Philip Robinson Library continues to be a challenge, especially when the outside temperature is very hot or very cold. We continue to work closely with the Estates Support Services team that monitors and controls the building’s heating and ventilation systems and respond to issues as they arise. 


Inappropriate levels of noise continue to be reported as an issue. Therefore, we have spent time on improving signage and promoting the library’s expectations around what is considered reasonable noise and ways of working in different parts of the library. All customers can report noise issues in study spaces in any of our libraries by sending a text to the Library Noise Alert Service on 07891 484 764 with a description and location of the disturbance. Library staff will then respond and attempt to address the source of the noise.

Library staff and services

It has been good to receive so much positive feedback about our library staff and online services such as Library Chat over the past year. When we have received suggestions regarding improving services, we have done our best to make the suggested changes.  Where we have not been able to immediately act upon suggestions due to their complexity we have consulted further and forwarded the feedback to the teams working on different service developments.

Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms

Study environment

Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms is becoming a favourite place for a lot of students. Many find it a more relaxing place to study. It is lovely to read how much they appreciate both the individual and collaborative spaces. It has also been good to receive students’ reports of cleanliness and IT issues. This has helped library staff to work with IT and Building facilities teams to resolve issues as quickly as possible.   


During the summer assessment period we received some reports of unreasonable noise and disruptive behaviour in some of the areas of the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. Library staff worked hard to address these issues at the time, but we will be reminding customers of acceptable noise levels prior to future assessment periods through different communication channels. 


Over 2017/18 we received a lot of feedback about the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms being either too cold or too hot. Unfortunately, we were unable to do much to alleviate the issues immediately, especially during the lovely hot months we experienced in May and June.  However, during the summer vacation closure of the building Estates Support Services arranged for the renewal of heating and ventilation systems so it is environmentally friendly as well as more configurable.


Several complaints were received about the slowness and unreliability of the building’s lifts. Both lifts were replaced as part of the summer refurbishment works so we are now confident all floors should be easily accessible to all customers.

Walton Library


The newly opened collaborative study space with café facilities initially received some complaints about noise – notices were put onto the tables in this area to remind students that it was designed as a study space and to ask them to be considerate of others.

In December we ran a ball poll to ask users how they would like noise levels in this collaborative area to be policed.  Results overwhelmingly indicated that people would prefer to police noise levels themselves rather than have library staff do it on their behalf.


Suggestions for new equipment and stock

More headphones were purchased following a small number of requests.

Many of the comments received were suggestions for extra copies of textbooks or new titles to be added to stock, all were responded to positively. These additions to stock covered a range of subject areas including (but not limited to), differential diagnosis, global health, anticancer therapeutics, fluoride and the oral environment, and philosophy of palliative care.  Any journal title requests were added to the Faculty wishlist for consideration at the end of the financial year.   



For a short time following the refurbishment, subject and shelfmark guiding was not available on the shelfends.  This generated three comment forms and guiding was quickly re-instated.

Several positive comments were received regarding the improvements made to the library as a result of the summer 2017 refurbishment. A request for a paper recycling bin to be placed near to the sink in the Walton Library was quickly actioned.

We received a complaint regarding lack of access to the Library over one particular weekend. It transpired that a change in security procedures meant the main entrance doors to the Catherine Cookson building were to be locked, and as an unintended consequence the library on the fifth floor would not be accessible by some.  Subsequently smartcard access via the out-of-hours door was enabled for anyone with an active smartcard account in order to allow access to the building and use the library.


A number of complaints were received during the exam period about the cleanliness of toilets and lack of hand towels and toilet paper.  These were passed on to the Estates team responsible. Frequency of cleaning was increased, additional checks were introduced and emergency supplies of paper towels and toilet tissue were held behind the desk to allow library staff to replenish stocks when necessary.


Several comments about the library being too cold, or too hot, were passed on to the University Estates Support Service (ESS). ESS monitor and balance the Catherine Cookson building’s ventilation and heating systems.

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