A picture tells a thousand words: a student’s-eye view of the Library

by | Feb 19, 2020 | Campaigns, Data | 0 comments

Here in the Library Strategic Marketing Team we’re always thinking of different ways we can help promote and improve our services. As the team’s Data & Research Coordinator it’s part of my job to gather data and feedback in different ways to shape and influence this work strategically with tangible evidence.

Surveying library users

The Library Life Pulse is an annual survey that we’ve run with the help of the research agency AlterLine for the last 3 years. The survey results have lots of interesting quantitative data, which allows us to look at wider measures and compare our results from previous years. A few examples of these measures include:

  • Overall satisfaction scores – “Overall, how satisfied are you with your University Library?”
  • A net promoter score (to gauge how many promoters, detractors and indifferent responders we have)
  • Awareness, satisfaction and use of our Services and Staff
  • The Library’s impact on wider University Experience

Visual impact

Sometimes though a picture can just make that extra impact – particularly when presenting results to other colleagues and stakeholders.

One of the additional tasks of the survey is for a respondent to take a photo of something they love and something they hate in the Library, and submit it with a caption. What I love about this task is how direct and easy it makes it for our students to let us know what they really think about our libraries.

Having a visual can be that extra piece of qualitative feedback that really contextualises and personalises the wider results. It allow us to really see what our students love (and don’t love!) about our spaces and Library services, and what changes and improvements we can make.

Examples of feedback

Below I’ve brought together a selection of different entries, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

The Good:

1 - Collect Me Room: "I find very useful to request a book online and collect it in the library without having to spend time looking for it." 2 - Book return point: "I like how you don't need to swipe in to return books. There have been times where I needed to return books but wasn't able to go there. My sister works near by so she was easily able to do this task for me and also saved myself from getting fined."

Reception desk: "The staff at the welcome desk are always on hand to help. Staff who are involved with the online messenger are equally as enthusiastic and supportive. This makes a big difference when you wish to seek support and encourages you to do so in the future."

The Bad:

1 - AGLC sharing screen: "There is no introduction of this equipment, which made me confused sometimes. IF we study in the well-equipped room, but don't use them adequately, it's the waste in my opinion." 2 - Study area: "Many people seat in the computer areas without using the computers."

1 - AGLC study area: "The lack of laptop desks in the Ali G, which means that some people have to work uncomfortably off the edges on the room. There are lots of seats, but there never seems to be enough laptop desks, especially when people put their belongings on one and walk off for hours at a time." 2 - Main Library Blue 1: "The library is really packed and I had to go to two libraries to find a computer."

The Ugly:

Dirty seat

The sofa covers could be dirty! They need to be changed and washed!

Underside of desk: "The horrible amount of chewing gum stuck underneath every desk and never cleaned."

As you can see, there’s a wide range of responses here and a good way to keep us on our toes and avoid complacency!

Acting on insights

Based off these results we’ve deep cleaned the Library facilities in Main Library and AGLC, and introduced our Library Neighbours campaign to encourage students to use share study spaces and promote good behaviour within our Library community, as well as other actions. It will be great to evaluate the impact of this campaign in the future and communicate to students what changes we’ve made on their behalf.

Michael Douglas, Data & Research Coordinator


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