RESULTS: Why you do/don’t use the Library…

Roaming survey thumbnail

Earlier in the year, the Library ran its first Roaming Library Survey! We went out and about on campus asking for feedback on if students do/don’t use the library, and why/why not.

We were really grateful to all of you who were happy to talk to us and gave us your time. Without valuable feedback from our users, we don’t know how we can improve things.

It was great to hear how many of you use and love the Library! Many of you said it was the best place to go for a quiet and silent study environment where you can focus and work, and you loved our books, resources, and the fact that we’re open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

We’ve created a wordcloud of the reasons you gave us for why you do use the Library

(square) Wordcloud - why they DO use library
Reasons why students do use the Library


We also created a wordcloud of the reasons you gave us for not using the Library (below):

(square) Wordcloud - why they DON'T use library
Reasons why students don’t use the Library

We’ve responded below to the comments that came up most as to why you don’t use the Library…

Online resources
Some of you feel that because you only use online resources, you don’t need to visit the Library. Please remember though if you encounter any technical problems or would like help using these resources to their full potential, you can contact the Library for support. You can e-mail your subject librarian who can offer 1:1 support using the subject specific resources.  We are more than happy to arrange this type of session.

Food and drink
A regular complaint was about the no food or hot drinks rule. This has since changed and now we allow cold food in quiet study areas. The no food rule still applies to silent study areas.  We also now allow you to bring hot drinks in, these are not restricted to any area. We hope that this helps students to study better, but we also ask that everyone respects the environment and keeps it clean for other Library users. Interestingly, some comments were about mess and that the keyboards were dirty.

Study Space
There were several comments about a lack of study space, in particular study rooms and study pods. Space is an issue in the Library but in the next few years a second library is planned for West Downs which will mean that we will be able to provide more study spaces. Currently we have a mixture of study spaces, this is to accommodate the needs of all Library users.  So we have desks with PCs, desks with sockets for mobile devices, study booths for group work and pods for individual work.  We would love to be able to provide more study areas, but we simply do not have the space at the current time.

A common complaint is about the temperature in the Library. If you find that you are too hot or too cold, please email and we will contact the estates department to see if they are able to adjust the heating settings.

Talking in Silent Study
There were some comments about students talking in silent study. Library staff will always remind users that it is not possible to talk in these areas. If you are near someone who is persistently talking, please email the Library desk and someone will come and deal with this.  The email is Some students feel that the Library is too quiet and prefer to work in a noisier environment.  We do have quiet study and silent study, but as we are a Library we do need to keep any noise to a minimum for the needs of the majority.

West Downs
Students from West Downs complained that the Library is too far for them to go. We were asked if we could have a drop-box at West Downs so that books can be returned there.  We will look into the feasibility of this, as we would need to find a way of transporting books to the main Library.  In the future there are plans for a second library to be built at West Downs so that will solve the problem eventually.

Copies of key texts
Some of you said that there are not enough copies of key texts. We are pushing all tutors to use our Aspire Reading list software.  When reading lists are created, Library staff automatically check the Library to make sure we have adequate stock.  We don’t just check that we have one copy, we also take into account the number of students on a course.  We aren’t able to provide a copy for each student, but where texts are likely to be in high demand, we try to purchase an eBook, have a reference copy and a mixture of 3 day, 7 day and standard loan copies.  At the current time, not all tutors are using Aspire but we are working hard on promoting this and training staff so that they are able to use this.

We monitor reservations, so when a book is reserved by several students, we are alerted to the fact that we don’t have enough copies and will purchase more. So if a book you need is on loan, please place a reservation as the chances are we will be able to buy more copies and you won’t have to wait so long for the original copy to be returned.

One comment was made about the space between book shelves for those with mobility trolleys. We are sorry that this is a problem for you.  Please email for assistance.  For the future when planning areas, we will take this into consideration.

ID Cards
Students have asked if there can be more leeway when they have lost their card. The problem is the card is the ID for a student, and we do need proof of ID.  It is  everyone’s protection that we insist on you using your card.  If we just took your name or number, we could be issuing to the wrong person who would then find themselves liable for books they never took out. This is quite problematic to sort out and stressful for the individual who has to prove that they have never had the books.

Thank you all for your comments, it is really valuable to have this feedback so that we can plan for the future and make improvements now where possible!