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Annual report 2018-19

Developing a more effective organisation

We challenge ourselves to improve the way we work and how we support other services and academic departments to develop a more effective organisation. We are proud that our students highly rate our staff and services through the National Student Survey and our LibQUAL survey. External validation through Investors in People and Customer Service Excellence celebrates the creativity and commitment of our staff.

National Student Survey

For the third year running the Library was the highest scoring member of the Russell Group in the National Student Survey. 93% of respondents agreed that the Library has “supported their learning well”.

No comparable multi-disciplinary library that serves so many varied subject areas scored higher in the 2019 survey. We believe this makes us the most successful generalist university library in the UK, and sector-leading in how we provide support that meets the needs of a diverse student body.

LibQUAL survey

We carried out a direct questionnaire survey of all users in November 2018. The LibQUAL survey uses a standardised set of questions that allow us to track progress over time. The results revealed our highest ever levels of satisfaction with Library support for learning, research and teaching, as well as for interactions with our staff.

Customer Service Excellence

The Library was reaccredited with the Customer Service Excellence® award. This recognises our commitment to put our users first and to deliver outstanding customer service. We were delighted to receive two new “compliance plus” awards. One was for our commitment to collaborative partnerships and the other for our consultative approach to service development.

IiP Silver accreditation

In 2019 the Library was awarded the prestigious Investors in People (IiP) Silver award.

The IiP framework was recently revised, with nine new indicators and the development of a new performance framework, so achieving the Silver award was a challenge.

The award reflects the hard work of all our staff to create a healthy, respectful and collaborative workplace. The assessor highlighted the Library’s strengths in the areas of delivering continuous improvement, structuring work effectively, and managing performance.

Our staff say:

I love working here, I find it somewhere I learn something new every day of the week, people are interesting and get immense satisfaction supporting staff and students

Everyone is open and willing to share their knowledge…the team are incredibly supportive

Innovation and creativity is encouraged

Evaluating our communications to improve engagement with our audience

We now evaluate our communication campaigns regularly to improve the way we communicate with our users. This includes tracking of call-to-action messages through third-party link shortening. We track trends and see what is resonating with our audience, as well as starting to test out design approaches with qualitative methods. This analysis affects the timing, structure and wording of our messages in a process of continuous improvement.

University Archive

Records of historic value have transferred from the University’s Central Record Office (CRO) to the University Archive. This improves our ability to answer research enquiries about the University governance, estate, staff and students, through the 1960s and up to the 1990s.

We worked with the University Secretariat, under the umbrella of the GDPR working group, to make significant changes so that the way we manage the University Archive collection complies with legislation.

We also established systems and processes with HR to identify historical staff records, to ensure they are regularly transferred to the collection.

The Central Records Office work gave us a welcome opportunity to work more closely with colleagues across the University, opening up a dialogue about ongoing record-keeping with colleagues in HR, Student Services and Secretariat.

Jen Povey, Archivist

Collaborating to deliver a cohesive and successful summer exam campaign

Giving students study space and exam and revision support is a priority at exam time. We integrated messages from different Library teams to increase their effectiveness, making them consistent and timely. We placed an emphasis on positive encouragement rather than behaviour management.

The measurable outcomes from the campaign include a reduction in complaints about desk hogging and study space. We saw a significant rise in social media engagement, and blog views increased from 23 views in the winter exam period to 1,228 views in the summer.