Student Led Change – 2024 update

Student Led Change – 2024 update

It’s amazing how much we’ve changed since you joined us (unless you’ve just joined us, in which case we are busy changing even as I type this!). We are always keen to hear what our clients think and want, and we are forever watching to spot what you find challenging. Our ongoing Customer Service Excellence Standard recognition shows our ongoing commitment to delivering the best service possible as our staff “go the extra mile” and embed enhancements to your Library experience across the board.

So, what’s gotten better?

Warmer and more welcoming

You said that the cold wind blowing into the Atrium made much of the ground floor uncomfortable to study. We refurbished the entrance area, including the toilets, and fitted new entrance doors that open intelligently to keep the warm air in and the cold wind out while reducing our carbon footprint as we work towards becoming completely carbon neutral.

We continue to expand and update our welcome materials, offering a welcome video, virtual and audio tours, as well as bespoke tours at quieter times for anyone who needs them.

Space to spread out and room to relax

You said that finding space to spread out and study at peak times could be challenging, so we condensed our collections to create space for more naturally lit study spaces around the Library and added both individual and group study pods to let you study without outside distractions.  We have also opened all the teaching rooms in the library so you can use them day and night, whenever they are not being actively used for teaching.

Student reading a book in the new Book NookWe reimagined, refurbished, and repositioned the Book Nook, nestling it into a warm, naturally lit relaxing sofa corner nestled next to the Library Café and the attractive Near and Far World Books collection of children’s books in translation.  The leather chairs from the Book Nook found their way up to the first floor, where they replaced ageing furniture to add a touch of luxury to a popular meeting space.

Being inclusive is at the heart of everything that we do and so we were delighted to be among the first buildings on campus to receive individual study pods where you can shut out the world and settle to study your way, which even come with focused, moveable, adjustable intensity lighting.  These complement the Individual Silent Study Zone on the second floor, drop-in meeting pods, and the complimentary reusable earplugs we offer our clients to offer anyone who finds the rest of the Library overstimulating a space where they can retire and relax or focus without interruptions.  

Drop-in individual study pod

You said you wanted it to be easier to refill your water bottles.  Staying hydrated is important for your study and wellbeing, so we prioritised replacing them with modern water bottle refill stations in easy-to-find locations, including next to the Library café.

Streamlining your study experience

For years, you said the wide range of quality information resources we offer were one of the things you liked most about your courses.  Learning from the experiences of providing meaningful changes to clients during lockdown, when all our clients were working remotely, we streamlined access to our eresources and worked with suppliers to bring more eresources than ever before delivered straight to your desktop in a digital-first approach intended to offer optimal support for blended learning for clients on campus and beyond and ultimately help us create more study spaces in the Library. 

We turned our Subject pages into tailored learning paths, taking you from first steps to final projects with library teaching, support, and the best resources for your subject, restructured our website to make finding the services you most need simple and intuitive, and worked with Information Services to develop reliable a single sign-on system so you can now log in once and access everything you need without difficulty. 

Website improvements, powerful search tools and single sign-on access to eresources from anywhere using the VPN make finding what you want faster and more reliable.  Our friendly and expert staff are also on hand in person and online to help you get started and improve your search, digital, media and information literacy, and referencing.

Saving your time

Browsing the bookshelves can allow you to come across many useful titles you might not have thought to look for, but sometimes you just want a particular book in a hurry. That’s why we still offer the Click & Collect service, so you never have to search the shelves for books.  We also introduced an add-on for the library catalogue that offers 3D floor plans showing where to find books on a subject or with a particular classmark number. If you can’t come into the Library at all, our books can come to you as offer postal loans, so even if something is not available online you can enjoy the printed word at no extra cost.

So, what’s next?

We are always working towards incremental improvements for the future but so much that we do depends on you. Please let us know what you like and where we can improve – in the NSS if you are in your final year at university, in person, by email to, or using one of our feedback postcards or the feedback form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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