Manchester Metropolitan University homepage
Library homepage

Library standards

Responding to your comments

Last year, six Faculty specific Library Infographics were produced, documenting the services and support each faculty had received over the academic year 2016/17, and promoting some of the services from the library available to use (eg digitisation).

These were displayed on the library web site and discussed in all programme and faculty meetings in the spring and summer terms. This was followed up by a three question survey for academics to provide their thoughts on what is valued from the library and what else they'd like to see the library provide.

In total there were 55 respondents to the survey spread over four of the six faculties. This report covers the issues raised and how the library has responded to them.

Staff survey responses bar chart

What do we do now that you love?

Thank you for all your comments, there were several positive comments about the library service in general:

  • "You are providing an excellent service to the staff and to the students."
  • "Everything is very good"
  • "You provide excellent support for research and teaching"
  • "In my view the services have improved over the years. Recently you have included the databases for research. This is excellent news for students and academics. "
  • "I really think the library does a great job"
  • "the library is an excellent resource"
  • "Provide a very good service."

The chart details which aspects of the library service commented on across all the faculties, and whether you loved them or would like us to do more.

Library Service   What do we do now that you love? What are we not doing that you'd love us to?

Access to facilities

Opening hours

2

1

 

Physical library

2

8

Access to help

Help & support: infoskills

15

14

 

Help & support: Library staff

20

2

Access to resources

Books and borrowing

11

8

 

Digitisation

1

3

 

Reading lists

4

3

 

Resources

16

11

 

Library web site/catalogue

 

3

 

Publicising library services and resources

4

3

 

Specialist software

 

1

Other

 

 

3

What are we not doing that you'd love us to?

Access to facilities

Opening hours

There was one request to open the library two hours earlier during the week during the summer vacation (ie 7am till 7pm) (A&H)
We do monitor library usage and demand for additional opening hours. Since moving to the model of 24/7 during the academic year and our current summer vacation opening hours we have had very few complaints about opening hours. The additional opening of 11am-5pm on Sundays during the vacation was in response to customer demand, particularly for those who work during the week and find it difficult to get to the library during the working day.

The Physical Library

There was one request for more space in the library (Edu)
We are aware of the need for additional space in the library and are actively working with Estates to help this happen. As part of our rationalisation of print resources (especially of print journals which are now available electronically) we will be able to dismantle some empty shelving and install additional study spaces in the library. This work will be undertaken next summer and we hope to be able to install approximately 200 additional study spaces in the library. In the longer term we are hoping to gain some additional space in the admin side of the All Saints building following the moves of departments to 6GMS.
One comment about swipe access problems when trying to visit the exhibition in Special Collections (A&H)
In the ideal world we would like our Gallery to be located outside the library envelope to facilitate an easier and more welcoming entrance and this is something we are actively exploring with the university in the longer term. In the meantime we are ensuring all our library and help desk staff understand the protocols around letting people into visit our exhibitions without the need for an ID card and have introduced visitor stickers so that our visitors to the museum and exhibitions can be easily identified.
One comment about our food and drink policy. (A&H)
We have struggled with getting the balance right with this over the years and the current arrangement seems to keep the majority of library users happy. Since allowing the consumption of cold food in the library we have had virtually no complaints on this issue.
There was one request for a library at Brooks and three for a book delivery and returns facility at Brooks. (Edu & HPSC)
A library at Brooks and a book return unit have been reviewed a number of times previously. A lack of space in the building for resources would mean a very small 'library' that would only house a tiny fraction of the resources needed by the students studying in the two faculties. This also wouldn't be open 24/7, restricting access to the material needed. A specialised book return unit would also need considerable space near the loading bay, and staff to empty and transport material to the All Saints library several times a day. Without a huge injection of funds and space, these are unfortunately not feasible.
There was also one suggestion to have book cases in café areas at Brooks like there are in the atrium at Geoffrey Manton (HPSC)
The bookcases and books in Geoffrey Manton were set up and filled by the former HLSS Faculty and the library service has had no involvement with this. It was part of a larger project around making the space more visually appealing and homely for students and included other enhancements such as the refurb of café facilities. If this is something the HSPC/Education faculties would like to take forward Sharon Handley would be worth contacting for advice.

Access to Help & support

Help, support & guidance: infoskills

Two requests for more library drop-in sessions at Brooks, one for a simpler process to book a 1-2-1 with a librarian and one for drop-ins with subject librarians around assessment times. (B&L and HPSC)
We aim to provide as many drop in sessions and workshops in all faculties as our staffing resource permits. We have started to run more of these as webinars which will hopefully help meet the additional demand, especially for distance learners and commuting students.
Three requests for more support for referencing including an easy to find video/podcast & a one page paper handout on Harvard referencing and online courses - involving tests and marks - on plagiarism and referencing. (B&L, Edu & HPSC)
We have produced a two page MMU Harvard Referencing Quick Guide it is located on the Library web site's MMU Harvard page and can be printed out if students want a paper copy.
We also have 8 referencing videos at MMU Library Services YouTube Referencing playlist
The suggestion to provide online courses on plagiarism is an interesting one, we will discuss the idea with Avril Buchanan and the Student Support Officers who also help students in avoiding plagiarism.
One request to record the webinars as a series so they can be linked onto Moodle pages (B&L)
This is an interesting idea. We currently only have three webinars recorded but it is something we could look into when we have a larger number recorded.
One request to have some library online guidance of how researchers and students can access such materials. (B&L)
There is lots of online guidance on the library web site. We have guides to some of our online databases and our subject guides list the key resources relevant to that subject area.
There were three requests for support with systematic reviews and literature reviews. These two new guides are available on the Library web site: (HPSC)
A number of you also suggested we do more promotion of our services including advertising our info skills courses more prominently, signposting to where students can get support for high level skills, both online and face to face. (B&L and HPSC)
We will look into this but if you have any ideas please do share them with us.

Help & support: library staff

One request for help with ordering library resources. (HPSC)
In the library guide on services for academic staff there is a section on requesting books and other resources. Your subject librarian will also be happy to support you.
One for more copyright advice (A&H)
We are happy to provide copyright advice, please contact your subject librarian in the first instance.

Access to resources

Books & borrowing

There was one request to allow borrowing of exhibition catalogues. (A&H)
The library has a large collection of exhibition catalogues, which form a vast archive of past and current exhibitions from across Britain and beyond. Many titles are unique and impossible to replace, as catalogues are rarely republished once an exhibition closes. Some titles are fragile and vulnerable in nature due to their format. The collection is therefore designated as reference, which allows for their use in the library. However, a temporary loan of limited items may be arranged if exhibition catalogues are required for a specific teaching session by an academic. For further information, please contact your subject librarian.
There were three comments requesting improvements to the inter library loans service:
One requesting we made them easier to obtain. (HPSC)
Last year we simplified the inter-library loans system so that paper forms and vouchers are no longer required. Staff and students can now complete a form on our web site.
There was a question about what COPAC is and how it could be useful for research. (HPSC)
You can read about what COPAC is and how researchers use it on their web site. As it is a combined catalogue of over 100 major UK and Irish libraries it could be a useful tool to discover what has been published in your research area. Once you have identified relevant material via COPAC you would obtain it via our inter library loans service (assuming, of course we do not already have a copy in our own library).
There was a suggestion we raise awareness of ILLs, and the timing it takes to get them, so students are aware early on and can build it into their planning. (HPSC)
On our web site we do recommend student allow a minimum of 3 weeks to get an inter library loan, although usually items are supplied faster than this. Subject librarians can also point this out to students during information skills workshops.
There were lots of positive comments about rolling renewals but there was one comment about the number of emails this generates and a couple of you have experienced difficulties with returning books which had been recalled. (A&H, HPSC)
To reduce the number of emails received you can manually renew all of your books on the same day so that you will just receive an email on a particular day of the week. More information
Automatic renewal notices are now sent out 7 days before the item is due back, rather than 3 days. This means that students and staff will have a longer period to get items back when they are recalled by fellow students/staff, which should be particularly helpful for students who have difficulty getting to university regularly such as part-time students or those on placement.
If you have been absent from University due to illness or other reasons out of your control, we may be able to waive fines.
In response to feedback from staff and students about difficulties returning books during the week immediately following the Christmas break we no longer charge fines for overdue items during that week.

Digitisation

There were 3 requests for more help with digitisations:
Help with sorting digitised resources and making them available to students (B&L)
We can provide this support if the digitised resources are attached to unit reading lists, just tell us what you want to include on your reading list and we'll do the rest. The reading list then sits within Moodle with all the links for the digitisations.
Automatically roll-over digitised chapters attached to units year on year. (HPSC)
In February we moved to a new provider for storage of our digitised content, one of the advantages of the new provider is that everything is now rolled over with perpetual links (unlike in our previous provider where they changed annually on rollover). Because of the migration to the new provider we automatically renewed everything but we will be asking you in future year whether you want the same digitisations before we renew them for you.
More flexibility to digitise extra chapters from books. (HPSC)
The CLA Licence is re-negotiated periodically and, during the last round, the amount permitted for scanning was increased from 5% to 10% of a book OR a whole chapter or article, whichever is the greater. This means that often a second chapter request can be accommodated if the book is long enough. Further amounts are continually pushed for by the CLA but the publishers tend to resist increasing the permissions as they believe it affects the sales of the books. The library purchases e-books whenever they're available but again, publishers don't always publish textbooks electronically and this is where the CLA licence is useful but not a perfect solution.

Reading lists

There were 3 requests for support with reading lists:
One request to make the links between Moodle and Talis (Reading list software) easier to create, and in particular, more durable. "They change every year (though I realise much of this is beyond your control)" (A&H)
Reading lists are rolled over on an annual basis so that students who may want to refer back to previous years reading lists can continue to do so.  If, you have embedded reading list sections into Moodle or individual reading list items, the links will need to be updated when rollover takes place so that they point to the correct year’s list.  If this affects you and you need help please contact your subject librarian.
Two of you wanted us to manage or check your reading lists (A& H and HPSC)
It is not mandatory that academic staff manage their own lists and the library are happy to make changes on your behalf. New reading lists or amendments to existing lists can be sent to your relevant subject librarian.

Resources

There were 10 requests for access to more resources, 7 of these specified journals or databases, one for film and TV archive material and a couple for more books/ebooks.
The library has also been compiling a list of journals required for research for the last couple of years, which is being prioritised in liaison with the academic staff and researchers, who made the original requests. These will be discussed in the Library Annual Review exercise, alongside journals needed for learning and teaching. (A&H, B&L, Edu & HPSC)
High priority journals from this list will be subscribed to as and when funds become available. In the meantime, if you have a request for a new journal a strong business case is essential for it to be considered in the Library's Annual Renewal Exercise which starts in the Spring term.
Staff and students of Manchester Metropolitan University are also able to visit and use other academic libraries via the SCONUL Access scheme, and the Inter-library loan service also provides access to material currently outside our collections.
Staff and students of Manchester Metropolitan University are able to use resources listed on the Film, Media and Television library guide that has both current and archival film and TV.
The North West Film Archive has a collection of over 5,800 moving images made in or about Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria, while Archives+ at Manchester Central Library has recently acquired the NWSA collection. The North West Sound Archive has 5,600 accessible sound archives, mostly undigitised, but in the near future, items will be digitised and made available to you on demand. Speak to the librarian at Central Ref from more information.
There was also one suggestion we undertake some research into undergraduate student preferences for physical book v ebook. (A&H)
We always get feedback from students about print and e-books via the NSS, ISS and CS surveys. There is a mixture of responses with some demand for more ebooks and some for more print books. We endeavour to provide a choice of format for essential readings but not all books are published in electronic format. The library plans to undertake a piece of research with the Sociology department in which we are looking at how staff, students and researchers access and use information. This may well give us some data on preferences for print vs e-material. If successful we hope to run similar research projects with other departments in the university.
There were two suggestions to encourage students to become less dependent on electronic resources and the value of browsing material. (A&H & Edu)
We also have set up display of new art & design books in the 1st floor west wing of the library. This has already proved popular with items being selected from there and borrowed.
We have a library video which explains how to find a book on the shelf.
We are also experimenting with ways of promoting print resources via the library web site and social media

Library web site/catalogue

One request to have different options for the library on the MyMMU area, so that there are links to the Library Web site, My account, Help and support etc. (HPSC)
The library link from the MMU student page takes you to the library web site but the library link in the MyMMU page takes you to the library account on the catalogue which is for checking loans, charges etc. This page is managed by LRT, we will feedback your comment to them.
One request for the record in the Library Catalogue to be in the MMU Harvard style. (Edu)
Our library catalogue is provided by an external supplier and they do not provide an option to customise the citations in Harvard style. However, students can import records from the catalogue into Endnote and then cite in Harvard style from there.
One request to ensure the descriptions of full-text or non-full-text links in e-journals are fully accurate (A&H)
Our tracking of our digital collections is always slightly out because:
  1. If we buy collections, suppliers might sometimes add or remove content from them without letting us know. Our discovery service will usually 'catch up' but there might be a time lag with this happening.
  2. There are metadata inconsistencies within collections. Sometimes content will be listed as full text but this might be incomplete. This is particularly the case with material that has been digitised or newspapers.
We rely upon our users telling us about errors and when these are reported, we can report them to our suppliers and also our discovery service to try to fix them.

Specialist Software

One request to provide enough specialist software for out of hours working. e.g. Adobe CC for students in design disciplines. (A&H)
We are keen to offer as great a range of software on library PCs as possible. There are issues around licensing and the spec of the PCs which have been a barrier to providing this service in the past. As a first step ISDS have invested in and installed 105 high specification computers in the library computer zones which have the capacity to run specialist software.

Other

There were two suggestions about promoting the Library Service:
  • Proactive in advertising new approaches and things librarians would like to test so that tutors can keep abreast of innovation and creative approaches. (B&L)
  • Promote the NSS etc infographic more within the faculty. Use at pop up, and on the TV screens at Birley if possible. Also put them on the front of the library web site - rotating each faculty (HPSC)
These are both really good suggestions and we are looking in to them.
And one comment re scholarship of LGBTQI lives suggesting that more staff and students wishing to work in this area are likely to join the University. (B&L)
The Library is keen to encourage diversity for all protected groups. We have a guide for LGBTQI resources and always review our policies and services to ensure protected groups are not disadvantaged. We also welcome suggestions for other ways we can increase inclusivity.

Thank you for all the suggestions and comments, please feel free to make suggestions at any time through library@mmu.ac.uk