Thursday, 24 November 2016

Knowing what you think

Joanne Casey explains why your thoughts matter to us, and reports on changes made in response to feedback.

We are a customer-focused service, and we work hard to ensure that what we offer - in the Library, IT Services, or the Archives - meets your needs. So getting feedback from you, whether it's positive, negative, or a request for a new service, is important to us. It helps us to find out more about what you want and to identify how we can make improvements to our services.

How we gather feedback

We collect your feedback in a variety of ways; by email, in person, on comment cards, via Facebook and Twitter, or on the new comments board at the Library entrance. We respond directly to any comments that are submitted with contact details, but we also bring all the feedback together in a monthly report, reviewed by managers, and decide how we can act on it.

The well-used Library comments board

What happens next?

We look at what you tell us, we discuss whether improvements are possible, and we respond.

If we can change in response to feedback, we will...

In the past year, we have:

  • Adjusted loan limits, so that you can now borrow up to 75 items at a time (previously 50 items)
  • Increased the initial loan period from four weeks to eight weeks
  • Edited the wording on the renewal screen in My Library account to make the renewal process for interlending items clearer
  • Begun providing IT support in the evenings and at weekends, and introduced an appointments system for more complex IT queries
  • Increased student spaces in the Library buildings, by opening up former staff offices and the old IT Support Office for student use, as well as opening up the meeting rooms on the second floor of Fairhurst to be used as study spaces in the evenings and at weekends. Over the coming year, it’s likely that other staff will move out of the Fairhurst and these spaces will also become available for study use.

...but sometimes we have to say no

The answer to your comments won't always be 'yes', but if it is 'no', we'll explain why.

For example, we've had a few requests for a microwave in the Library. There are lots of reasons why we can't provide this; the lack of a suitable space, problems with keeping it clean (it's not the responsibility of University cleaners to clean kitchen equipment), and cost (a standard domestic microwave wouldn't be a suitable choice). However, we've passed on this feedback to the University, and there's now a discussion underway about allowing students who live off-campus to access College kitchens.

We've also had lots of feedback about our turnstiles, and we know that several of you don't enjoy having to scan your cards to leave the Library. However, the information that we collect on use of the Library - how long people spend here, which departments or student groups are using the Library most, when people are most likely to come in - is really valuable to us in identifying how we need to develop our services (rest assured, we don’t retain any personal data from the turnstiles). So, whilst we understand how you feel, this isn't something that we plan to change.

The positives

We get lots of good feedback, about our staff and about our services. This matters to us, because it shows what we're getting right. We always make sure that these comments are shared both to managers and teams, so that our colleagues know that they're making a difference. Recent highlights include:

  • Thanks as ever for the super speedy response! 1
  • Thank you for the years of endless support #uoygraduation 2
  • A huge thank you to @UoYITServices who have been brilliant helping with our move. Great team!
  • Exceeded expectations, teaching was excellent and fun 3
  • Brilliant library and very helpful staff. I just love wandering around exploring the books and journals on the shelves. A great atmosphere for learning.
Thank you all, and keep telling us what you think!

More information

Who the compliments were for, where not stated.
  1. Library Twitter feed
  2. Library
  3. Borthwick Institute for Archives
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