Friday, 20 February 2015

Lockers, language support, and more - we’re acting on your feedback

Joanne Casey summarises recent changes made in response to your feedback.

Learning what you think of our services is the best way for us to find out how to make them better for you. We gather your comments and suggestions together, whether they arrive by email, in person, on cards, or via Facebook and Twitter, and see how we can act on them. These are some recent developments which grew from your comments.

Library feedback


You've been asking us to provide more lockers, so we've added more - there are now 122 lockers available on the ground floor of the Morrell - that’s an extra 102 compared to last year.

We've also added two accessible lockers on the ground floor of the Morrell - these lockers are designed to be accessible to wheelchair users, like those provided in the accessible study rooms. They're primarily intended for temporary storage, but we're happy to discuss your specific needs, and let you use them on a longer basis if necessary.

Lots of people complained to us that lockers were locked but empty, so we consulted with both YUSU and GSA about what we could do to ensure they were used more effectively. Locker keys are now issued as flexible loans, just like books and other Library items. You can renew your locker key unless it’s been reserved, and fines are chargeable on overdue requested locker keys.

We carry out regular lockers check as we still find that some people leave un-issued books in the lockers - we scan lockers to detect whether there are any unissued items. If there are, we remove the items and return them to the shelves.

Please remember that the lockers are for everyone's benefit - only use them if you need to store items temporarily, don't borrow the key and leave the locker empty just in case you need it at some point.

Postgraduate space

Availability of study spaces remains one of the hottest issues in the Library. We're at capacity, so we can't add any extra study spaces in our buildings, but we can do our best to ensure that all our spaces are used to their fullest.

An examination of usage statistics showed that keeping a small number of individual study rooms for booking by postgraduate students only was not an efficient use of space - in terms of anecdotal evidence, we also got lots of complaints from users who saw them regularly left empty. At the same time, we were getting feedback from surveys and comment cards that postgraduate students wanted more quiet space to work in, and we were aware that the silent study space in the Humanities Reading Room (Burton) was one of our least-used spaces.

We consulted with both GSA and YUSU, and decided to make all of our individual study rooms available to be booked by all users. At the same time, we transformed the silent study space in Burton into a study space specifically for researchers - this came into use at the start of the Autumn term, and is proving increasingly popular.

We'll continue to review use of our space, as it's vital that it is well used. If you're looking for a space in our buildings, it's worth checking our seating availability app - we've now made it available during term time all year round after receiving lots of positive comments about how useful you find it:

IT Services feedback

Google Chrome

Lots of you have asked for Chrome to be installed on PCs in our IT classrooms and study areas, and now it's there - this means you can choose between three web browsers (Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer) to access the web.

Start of term

The start of the autumn term is the busiest time of year for the IT Support Office. Last year we saw queues out of the door for much of the first week, with new students keen to get their laptops, tablets and phones connected to the university network having to wait a long time to be seen.

We understand that arriving on campus can be a stressful time for new students and we didn't want to make the same mistakes again. We sought feedback from students and from our own staff in order to identify the problems from last year and to make arrangements to reduce them as much as possible. Key issues were waiting times, difficulty in finding the IT Support Office, lack of support on Heslington East, and problems for speakers of other language.

This year, we:

  • emailed all new students in advance of their arrival with details of the help available and of how to connect to the network before coming to York
  • offered support on both arrivals weekends, with IT Help Points at Heslington East and at the Library
  • offered Chinese language support (Mandarin Chinese is the second most common language at the University after English)

This worked well, with shorter queues, minimal complaints, and generally good feedback on the service we offered. We intend to do the same next year.

Find out how you can let us have your thoughts:

1 comment:

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