Student led change
Building on strength
We were delighted last year to report that a full four years after we first received Customer Service Excellence Standard recognition, our award had been fully reviewed and re-accredited but we have not been standing still since then. We have been working hard to make good our one point of partial compliance and exceed the expectations of our clients and our independent assessors in all areas, leveraging the strengths highlighted in the last assessment in empowering staff to “go the extra mile” and reflect the commitment of the Library's leadership team to embedding improvements to the customer experience across the board.
Creating a warmer welcome in person and online
We have completely refurbished the foyer and its toilets to create a lighter, brighter, more welcoming entrance to the Library. New entry doors have an intelligent management system that works with a new energy-efficient heater to banish the winter winds and keep the entrance area and Atrium comfortably warm while continuing to support our ambition to act responsibly and sustainably and to become carbon neutral.
Reimagining library spaces
We reimagined, refurbished and repositioned the Book Nook, taking what was once a drafty corner beneath the stairs and turning it into a relaxing sofa corner next to the Library café and the attractive Near and Far World Books collection of children's books in translation. The leather chairs from the Book Nook found their way up to the first floor, where they replaced ageing furniture there to add a touch of luxury and a new conversational cluster.
You told us that the existing water fountains were ageing and that some were located in places that were hard to find. We recognise that staying hydrated is important to help you study and stay well and so we have replaced them with modern water bottle refill stations, including a brand new refill station near the Library café and the new Book Nook.
We understand that when everyone is using the Library at once, finding a space to study can be difficult, and so we found ways to condense our collections and create a new, secluded area of naturally lit study space. Elsewhere, we installed more of our highly popular sound baffling drop-in meeting pods, giving you more space to study alone or with others while containing the natural noise of group work. We have also opened the doors to all the teaching rooms in the Library whenever they are not actively being used for teaching, making the very best use of the building at all times of day and night.
Space for all
Being inclusive is at the heart of everything that we do and so we were delighted to be among the first buildings on campus to receive individual study pods where you can shut out the world and settle to study your way, which even come with focused, moveable, adjustable intensity lighting. These complement the Individual Silent Study Zone on the second floor, drop in meeting pods, and the complimentary reusable earplugs we offer our clients to offer anyone who finds the rest of the Library overstimulating a space where they can retire and relax or focus without interruptions.
Every year, our students have told us that our resources were one of the things they liked most about their courses. Learning from the experiences of providing meaningful changes to clients during lockdown, when all our clients were working remotely, we streamlined access to our eresources and worked with suppliers to bring more eresources than ever before delivered straight to your desktop in a digital-first approach intended to offer optimal support for blended learning for clients on campus and beyond and ultimately help us create more study spaces in the Library.
Supporting you wherever you study
We re-imagined our Subject pages, making each a tailored learning path guiding you through the learning process needed to engage fully with each discipline while still serving as an easy reference directory for the best eresources for those subjects.
Website improvements, powerful search tools and single sign-on access to eresources from anywhere using the VPN make finding what you want faster and more reliable. Our friendly and expert staff are also on hand in person and online to help you get started and improve your searching, digital, media and information literacy, and your referencing.
New and intuitive
We have enhanced our virtual tour, created a separate audio tour, comprehensively redesigned our referencing advice pages to be both more streamlined and comprehensive and wrote a simple overview guide for you to download that introduces how the APA 7th edition referencing style works. We made our website simpler and more intuitive to use, studded with video shorts showing how everything works, and enhanced the library catalogue with a system that links everything to a 3D floor plan showing where to find it.
We realise you might only have time to collect the printed books you need to read, and not to browse the shelves to find them, so we continued the Click & Collect service first introduced during lockdown.
Convenience on demand
Not everything is available electronically and not everyone enjoys reading exclusively from a screen. That's why we introduced automated book loan renewals and postal loans for everyone staying in the UK. Now everyone can read our print books, no matter where in the UK they are staying. We still strive to offer ebooks for everything our distance learners need to read, as well as for all essential reading for other courses, so you can read or listen to your core materials at home or on the go without delay.
Art and recreation
We are proud to buy and display our students’ competition-winning art to stimulate and inspire future generations, as well as curating regularly changing displays by and for staff and students', showcasing their talents, hobbies, interests and projects. There is nothing like the feeling when we see the burgeoning confidence of students seeing their work exhibited in public for the first time.
Tell us what you think
The library service has always been client-led, developed in response to feedback from people like you! The library service you see now developed as a result of comments, suggestions, ideas and criticisms we received from previous students, just as your needs, insights, and creativity will help shape our future.
While we actively engage with students and watch keenly for trends so we can anticipate your needs, there is no substitute for hearing from our clients. Your comments and suggestions fuel change and help us meet your emerging needs.
You can post ideas anonymously into our retro red suggestions post box on the ground floor near the IT Desk - just grab a feedback postcard from the supply on top of the post box. You can also leave us a review on Google, chat with us in person or using our online chat service, through social media, or simply drop us a good old fashioned email! There is even a dedicated feedback form on our website!