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Annual report 2018-19

Introduction from the Librarian

Annual report 2018–19

Download the Library annual report (PDF)

Introduction from the Librarian

Dr Stella Butler, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection.

The stand-out event of the academic year 2018–19 has been introducing a new library management system, Alma. It was unveiled in July but its preparation dominated work for the previous twelve months.

Library management systems are now absolutely essential to the operation of libraries. The library catalogue still sits at its heart, providing information about the books, databases, academic journals and other electronic resources upon which staff and students depend for their learning and research. But modern systems do much, much more than this. They enable readers to borrow from our rich collections or download the article or resource they need; library staff order and purchase books and electronic resources through the system; the library system is also central to how we manage our collections, ensuring they are not only appropriate to the academic profile of our University but also contribute to the bibliographic riches enjoyed by researchers across the UK.

The migration from one system to another is such a big deal it only happens once in a generation. That the project has been an outstanding success is down to the dedication and expertise of staff both in the Library and IT.

Of course there has also been plenty of “business as usual” during 2018–19 as this report testifies. Students are now able to enhance their statistical skills through online videos or receive one-to-one advice in one of Skills@Library’s many “clinic” sessions. Our bibliometric service is helping to raise the impact of the University’s research. We have improved our support for research funding applications through improved literature searching. We continue to find innovative ways to create opportunities for scholarship within our collections. Our galleries have staged a series of thought-provoking and visually stunning exhibitions.

We want the Library to be a supportive and stimulating place to work. Our preparation for the Investors in People standard enabled us to stand-back and consider how we communicate and collaborate, and examine the values we adhere to and promote. We were delighted to receive silver accreditation. We still have work to do to reach the highest level but the feedback from the review has demonstrated we are well on the way!

We again received 93% in the National Student Survey for the support we provide for student learning. As in 2018, this is the highest score of participating Russell Group Universities. This exceptional achievement reflects a deep commitment to excellence across all sections of the Library. I am hugely privileged to lead a group of staff who take such pride in delivering a consistently high quality service to all our readers. As in previous years, they deserve all the accolades they justly receive!