Improving the library based on your feedback: Part 1 Resources


Improving the library based on your feedback: Part 1 Resources

Extensive library resources

Another year has long since passed, so it’s more than time for our annual library retrospective. Last year I was full of optimism, as the worst of the pandemic seemed well and truly behind us. But real-world events with the War in Ukraine and the subsequent cost of living crisis have meant there’s been another strong external driving force for change.

All the Library and Learning Resources team have a strong belief in asking for your feedback. We’d like to thank all of you who have attended one of our feedback events. Regardless of if you wrote us a let-down letter on Valentine’s Day, attended one of our Shape Our Library events, or left us feedback on a form, you have helped bring about real change. If you’re an undergraduate in your final year, it’s vital that you make your voice heard through the National Student Survey by 30 April.

As much as we like the changes we make to be driven by feedback, some of the changes we’ve made have been based on the real-world pressures we are all facing. This leads me to the first stop on our retrospective or just watch our little video

Say goodbye to library fines!

Say goodbye to library fines

As part of our commitment to support you during the cost-of-living crisis, we worked in collaboration with The University of Kent and The University of Greenwich to change our policies and no longer charge fines on overdue items. It was important to all of us that there should be no financial barriers for students accessing our collections. As we worked in partnership, it meant the change was in place for all our students, including those using the Drill Hall Library at Medway and our KMMS students.

Our borrowing policies changed as part of this process, so if you haven’t done so yet I recommend you read our updated Overdue and Lost items page. We also produced an FAQ based on your questions.

As part of the change, we ran a full amnesty on library fines. This meant a total of £4,899.80 worth of fines were removed from 445 library users’ accounts. We hope this helped many of you.

e-books on the increase!

Increasing our e-book provision has been one of the biggest areas that we’ve been working on based on your feedback. Across all our different database subscriptions we’ve passed the quarter of a million mark. Some of those are very niche but we have at least 140,000 that we’d expect to be of more frequent use. We’ve also introduced more ways you can help our collection grow…

‘You read, We buy… with Cambridge Core

We brought you access to 1000s more e-books through Cambridge Core. All e-books will be available for the academic year 2022/2023 as part of a ‘You read, we buy’ scheme. At the end of that period, we buy outright the most used titles to add to our permanent collection from Cambridge University Press. It’s a multi-disciplinary database so there will be something there for everyone.

Suggest an e-book

We introduced suggest an e-book during our covid closure but it was so popular, we’ve kept it available but we knew it needed work to make it more user-friendly. A simpler form that takes half the time to fill in and a clearer button on LibrarySearch to make it easy to submit your suggestion. We’ve bought hundreds of e-books that you’ve let us know would help with your studies or research.

Document Delivery improvements on LibrarySearch

You asked for a way to track the progress of your document delivery requests, so we’ve added a way you can do so through LibrarySearch. Simply log in to LibrarySearch and go to your account details. You’ll find a new requests tab with details of your document delivery request.  It’s simple, just take at my document delivery request below

LibrarySearch Screen Shot showing the new requests tab

Sustainability collection

A display of sustainability books on the second floor of Augustine House library.

We listened to your feedback about the lack of books on sustainability and the environment. More and more taught courses focus on sustainability and we appreciate the passion so many of you have for the topic. So back in April 2022, we worked with the University sustainability team to introduce a new Sustainability collection. You’ll find it on the second-floor atrium.

Curriculum Resources

We heard you when you said our Curriculum Resources were looking a little tired and out of date. Throughout the summer of 2022, we worked with academic colleagues to massively overhaul the collection with modern and exciting teaching resources (who doesn’t like programmable robots?) If you’re interested in what’s new, we released an overview blog of the resources which is well worth a read.

That’s all for now but part 2 is not far away. Check back in a couple of weeks as we look at the study support and facilities we provide and remember third-year undergraduates have your say and fill in the student survey today!

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