Your feedback, our response

Busy scene, level 1

Your feedback is very important to us and we welcome it through any channel. To contact us, visit the contacts page.

    Library/HCA Student Satisfaction Project

    • This project came from discussions between Library and History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA) staff about how we can continue to improve student satisfaction with the Library’s services.
    • We would like to explore whether the needs of students in HCA, particularly in pre-modern modules, differ from those of students in other disciplines; and whether specific interventions suggested by our research can make a positive difference to student perceptions of the Library.
    • The project will follow a cohort of c.30 Year 1 students on the following programmes:
      • BA History
      • BA History and Archaeology
      • BA Archaeology
      • BA Classics
      • BA Classical Studies
    • Initially, module evaluation forms will be analysed and collated to provide a baseline of existing student satisfaction. Then, through regular contact via focus groups and questionnaires, we will maintain a conversation with these students and take measures to address specific needs and concerns. We will follow this cohort of students across these degrees throughout their three years, in addition to continuing to work with new intake groups during induction.
    • There is a project blog which will be regularly updated.


    Feedback summary: Spring Term 2018

    Please shorten the five day request hold period. It should be only 2 or 3 days as many people don't collect them and it means no one else can read them while they are reserved. Or option to notify that there is an interest in 48 hours for other students on the queue to move up.

    Thank you for completing a feedback form to let us know what you think of the reservation system. Although I understand completely your arguments, the way we have organised the hold shelf is based on the fact that a lot of our students are part-time and only come in to Birkbeck a few days a week. We feel that it would be unfair to say to these students that they have to pick up their requests within 48 hours when it is unlikely that they will physically be visiting the library within that time. We do monitor the number of reservations on specific items, and we would try and buy additional copies when appropriate. (February 2018)

    Please can we have some computer-free study space? There is no quiet space in this library at all!

    Thank you for completing a feedback form to let us know what you think of the library and its space. I’m sorry to read that you have not been able to find an area in the library that is quiet enough for you. As you know, Levels 3 and 4 of the library are designated as silent areas, and I have to say that I find students respectful of the space on the whole. When we refurbished level 4 last summer, we did consider whether or not we should have a laptop-free area, but we felt that there was not a high demand for that and we knew that this had been a difficult area to manage previously. Most university libraries do not have laptop-free/device-free areas anymore. We decided to get new desks with partitions, as well as 6 individual booths to give students who need privacy a place to go. From what you wrote, I imagine that you find the noise of other students’ laptops disturbing even when you sit at one of the new desks on level 4? Is that the case?

    We will review our decision as we go along, as we do want to provide the best possible spaces to our students. (February 2018)

    The temperature makes it very difficult to study or use the services. If any adjustments could be made to the temperature to make it warmer, that would be great (either increasing the heat or decreasing the air conditioning if applicable)

    We are in touch with our colleagues in the Estates department on a regular basis about the temperature in the library. They made regular adjustments to the system but this is a complex set up and it is difficult to obtain the right temperature in all areas of the library. We have made them aware of your complaint.

     We agree with you that a comfortable library environment is essential to the success of your studies, so we’d like to apologise for this. (December 2017)

    I would like the library to be open 24/7!

    Thank you for talking to a member of staff about the library’s opening hours and suggesting that the library should be open 24/7. This is something that we have contemplated in the past- in fact there was a trial a few years ago which didn’t prove very successful.

    On the whole less than 5% of the comments/feedback that we get are related to the Library’s opening hours. You may have noticed on our website a news item about the fact that we have extended our full service (when trained library staff are available to help students) to cover all of our hours (8.30am till 11.45pm Monday to Sunday). We felt that it would be more useful to spend the money on this aspect of the service rather than paying security staff to keep the library open all night. We will continue to review our staffing models and opening hours in future. (November 2017)

    Impressed with the new layout of the 4th floor in @BirkbeckLibrary - plenty of space to work, plus it's nice & quiet!

    Great to hear it works for you! (October 2017)

    Would it be possible to set the self-service machines to not automatically print a receipt for returns as it wastes paper?

    There are two options for students to choose from when returning books on the self-service machines: one is to print a receipt and the other one is ‘no receipt’. We think that it’s best to give that choice as some students like having a printed proof of the fact that they have returned their items. (October 2017)

    Birkbeck also has its own student feedback page: 'You said, we are doing'