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Term 1: Autumn 2014/15 (incl summer vacation)

The library regularly collects feedback on its services through a variety of sources (comments forms, e-mails, programme committees, letters, Facebook and Twitter). This is a summary of your views for the above period, with our comments. Please note that all the comments we received are carefully considered and action taken where appropriate, but we only provide a formal response where we have received two or more comments on a particular subject, unless a single comment raises a particularly important issue.

Your comment:


Our response:

Number of comments:

Comments about the building/environment


Specialist facilities

Some of you have asked for specialist facilities within the library (e.g. model making space).

However it is University policy for the Faculties and Schools themselves to provide their own specialist workshops, laboratories and studios. This is to ensure that appropriate Health & Safety procedures are in in place and expert staff are on hand to support this type of student activity (which the library does not have).

The Library provides general library services for everyone and does not have the resources to duplicate specialist facilities available elsewhere in the University.

(3 negative)


Refurbishment of the 5th Floor of the All Saints Library

Some of you commented that you liked this newly refurbished space. We're particularly pleased that you like 5th Floor at the All Saints Library, especially the additional PCs that have been put in place.

(4 positive)



Some of you have commented that it's been too cold, particularly in the 4th Floor study area at the All Saints Library.

We are aware of a problem in November with the air handling unit which provides tempered air to this space, and are very sorry about the inconvenience or discomfort that was caused. This issue has now been resolved, and hopefully the temperature will be better for everyone from now on.

(28 negative)


Layout of the library

A couple of you said that you were struggling to navigate your way around the library.

We're in the process of updating our permanent directional signage, and have replaced missing projecting shelf end signs during the Christmas vacation. We're also planning to re-introduce floor plans in each wing, which will hopefully help everyone to find their way around in future.

However, please ask any member of library staff if you need any help at any time.

(2 negative)



Complaints about noise and behaviour are issues which crop up time and again. We're working hard to enforce the existing library policy whereby students disturbing others are asked to leave the premises on the third warning. We've also increased the number of patrols throughout the day.

However, please do talk to a member of Library staff if you are disturbed by noise. If you prefer you can also text anonymously to alert staff to the problem. The text number is advertised in the study zones in each library.

Working together is the best way for us to tackle this problem.

(11 negative)


Food & drink

We've received a number of complaints about the restrictions on food and drink in the library as well as about how the policy is implemented.

We appreciate that you like to have food and drink to hand when studying in the library. However, we have a serious problem with mice and therefore need to restrict what type of food items are consumed in the library. The Chat Zone at the All Saints Library is open 24 hours for relaxing with food and drink and is cleaned regularly throughout the day and evening.

This library policy has been enforced with more consistency this term e.g. promoting what is acceptable via new posters and verbal reminders, because of these issues.

We hope that you will assist us in our endeavours to provide a clean and welcoming study environment for everyone.

(8 negative)



We're sorry that some of you have found our toilets not up to your expectations.

They are cleaned a number of times throughout the day. However, if you notice any problems please let library staff know and we'll report immediately to our colleagues in Facilities, so that it can be resolved quickly.

(3 negative)


Water fountains

A couple of you have asked for more water fountains in the library.

The University no longer recommends the installation of water fountains due to the potential risk of legionella bacteria. However, existing water fountains (which are safe) are available on the First and Second Floors; and vending machines selling bottled water are located in the Chat Zone, Ground Floor.

(2 negative)

Comments about library resources and services


General comments

It's great to receive praise about the library generally. We're constantly aiming to improve our services so please keep sending us your comments and suggestions.

(23 positive)


Library website

Thank you for your (mostly) positive feedback about the library website, especially the new subject guides.

We're now investigating the next version of the software which we use to produce them, so watch this space!

(5 positive)


Networked resources

We're very sorry about the problems some of you have experienced accessing the library's e-resources.

We've had a major problem with the server which authenticates a person's right to access the library's subscription e-resources. Our colleagues in IT Services are building a new server for us. In the meantime, we've introduced some 'work arounds' to help you, e.g. included instructions on how to use the work around in the 'access denied' message that pops up.

Latest information about any issues are also advertised via the library website and tweets.
Specialist help about how to search each database is also available, e.g. we provide helpsheets, video podcasts, InfoSkills sessions or you can talk to your subject librarian.

(7 negative)



You made various comments about the Library's bookstock, e.g. number of key texts, availability of later editions, the need for a wider range of books in some subject areas.

We actively manage the stock to make it as current and accessible to as many people as possible. For example, we have systems in place ensuring that we'll buy an electronic copy (if available) or purchase more print copies when an item is heavily reserved. We also monitor usage and change the loan type, if necessary, to improve the circulation. Subject librarians also work closely with academic colleagues to ensure we have sufficient current material in stock to support teaching, but please continue to keep us informed of issues so that we can improve our service to everyone.

(10 negative)



We're sorry that you've encountered problems using our e-books.

We experienced problems with one particular supplier's platform - this affected not only us but also other libraries. We provided them with feedback which helped their technical department to resolve the issue.

Some publishers also set restrictions on the number of simultaneous users and the length of time you can access an item. We have to comply with the terms and conditions of our licences but continue to look for the best resources to support your studies.

(7 negative)


Reading lists

We received a comment about out-of-date books on a reading list.

Reading lists are produced by academic staff. However, if you notice something is no longer current, please let us know and we'll investigate further and alert the relevant member of academic staff.

(1 positive)


Opening hours

You liked 24 hour opening at All Saints but wondered why Crewe had closed early.

We're glad you like being able to access the All Saints Library whenever you need. Crewe Library is usually open until midnight, Monday-Friday during term-time. However, we had to close at 9pm for a couple of weeks due to security problems. We managed to resolve these and reverted to our usual opening hours, but apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time.

(5 negative)


Services at Birley

Many of you expressed concern about the lack of library facilities at the new Birley campus.

The decision was made at University level to consolidate library services in one Manchester location. However, library staff are offering pop-up help (which has received positive feedback) and 1-2-1 support at Birley.

The All Saints Library is open 24 hours, seven days a week from September to June, including the vacations. A wider range of bookstock is now easily available in one place, and library staff continue to provide bespoke teaching sessions at Birley.

(19 negative)

Comments on IT issues and equipment



You were unhappy with the number and speed of PCs in the Library. We're working closely with IT Services to install an additional new 44 PCs on the 5th Floor @ All Saints in January 2015. This will bring the total capacity of the new IT Zone to 112 PCs and 10 Macs.

Don't forget that apart from those in the Library, there are also IT Zones throughout the Manchester and Crewe campuses that you can use, and laptops offered on a day loan in the libraries at Manchester and Crewe.

Did you also know you can borrow laptops for a week at a time from Mabel Tylecote (Manchester) and the Brock building in Crewe? Check out the IT Services website for more information:

(13 negative)



You said you'd like more catalogues in the Library.

We're hoping to install more Library catalogues in the library soon, in response to your feedback. Watch this space!

We're currently investigating a new solution for the library catalogue. In the meantime, you can also access the catalogue via library PCs or through your mobile device

(13 negative)



You said you would like large format printing in the Library.

The university provides these large scale printers only where there are expert staff at hand to help in their use. Details are available at: . Here Print Service staff can also advise you about different options for all your printing needs.

We're sorry you've had problems with some of the printers not working. IT Rovers and library staff check these throughout the day and evening. However, if you have a problem please do let us know straightaway so we can sort it out for you.

(4 negative)



You expressed dissatisfaction with the WiFi coverage.

We work closely with our colleagues in IT Services to address issues such as this, so please let us know when you have a problem so we ask them to investigate further

(3 negative)


Specialist software

You said you would like specialist software in the Library.

However, it is University policy that within the University, specialist software is the responsibility of individual faculties and as such, licences are limited to specific faculty buildings.

(3 negative)

Comments about circulation and other issues



Some of you said you would like to be able to borrow more books.

The loan allowances are set to maximise use of the stock and ensure everyone can access what they need for their studies. However, did you know you also have access to a wide range of electronic resources paid for by the Library? If you would like more details, please ask at the library helpdesk or check out the library website

(4 negative)



Some of you don't like our security staff patrols.

We ask our security staff to patrol to help maintain a pleasant and safe study environment for everyone. Sometimes this means they may have to ask you to move to a more appropriate study zone.

(3 negative)


Rules & regulations

Some of you commented about the library rules and regulations, e.g. needing your card to enter the library.

The University also requires everyone - staff and students - to carry their ID card whilst on campus. Your card also gives you swipe access to buildings and services, e.g. printing.

(4 negative)

Comments about library staff and support


Library staff

We're very pleased that many students and staff feel that the support we're providing is meeting their needs and that you're finding the staff supportive and helpful.

(7 positive)


Using resources

We received positive comments on the help given to individuals. We're pleased that you feel able to ask if you need any assistance. We also offer self-help videos and guides via the Library website.

(3 positive)


Induction & InfoSkills

We had positive comments on the help and support offered through induction and InfoSkills sessions, though some of you wanted the timings to be earlier.

We continue to liaise with tutors over the timing and content of these sessions, and hope that for the majority of students we get this right. Please just come and ask at the helpdesk if you feel you need support in any area.

(16 positive)