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.

Feedback summary: Autumn Term 2017

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)

Where is the no laptop area - silent area for reading? The fourth floor is not quiet with hundreds of keyboards typing away - why have you removed the no laptop area? The point was a quite silent study area for reading? This is unacceptable in a university library.

Thank you expressing your disappointment about the fact that we no longer have a laptop-free area in the library. We have refurbished the fourth floor of the library to make it a better silent area for students. As we had a very limited amount of space to play with and because the demand for a laptop-free area was low previously and the area difficult to manage last year, we decided not to include one. We also looked around and realised that this is not something that is provided in many academic libraries nowadays. The new desks have partitions and there are six individual booths which we hope will suit students who need calm and privacy to concentrate on their studies. We will review our decision as we go along, as we do want to provide the best possible spaces to our students. (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)

Trying to write my dissertation in the library. People are chatting, eating and even talking on mobile phones. So disruptive. Please can this be monitored by library staff and more notices put up about library etiquette and consideration for these who need to work in silence?

We're sorry to hear that you're finding it hard to concentrate in the Library. It would be useful to know where you usually sit, as there should not be much chatting on Levels 3 and 4, which are our silent floors.

During term time, we have staff patrolling every day at busy times to ensure that our rules are respected. We've also put some banners up about library etiquette hoping that these will be more noticeable than posters. This is something that we give a lot of consideration to and we will carry on doing so in the coming months. (June 2017)

There are a number of library users bringing in their own laptops but then using the desks that have computers on them. It never seems to be anybody doing it on any regular basis, so they might think it's alright because it's just them. But the number of users with personal devices means that the occurrence is actually quite regular.

This is something that we have considered carefully. We feel that at busy times, a study space is more important than a computer and we have therefore asked staff not to ask a student to leave if they're occupying a space with a PC - even if they're not using it. At the moment, we are promoting availability of PCs in other parts of the building every day, putting a poster on the Ground Floor and near the Help Desk to indicate which ITS workstation rooms are available. However, we do appreciate that it can be frustrating, particularly at this time of year. (May 2017)

It would be good to be able to pay by card at the print top-up kiosk. Less and less of us carry cash nowadays.

Yes, we agree and we are talking to our ITS colleagues to see if this can be enabled. In the meantime you can top-up online here (click on 'Charge your print account online'). (April 2017)

Please invest in more headphones as there are never any to borrow when I need them.

Thank you for your suggestion. We've bought three additional headsets so this shouldn't be a problem in the future! (April 2017)

Hello, I like using the Birkbeck library but in the last few weeks the temperature has been very high. This has made it really uncomfortable to work in, please could you make it a normal temperature again. Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience in the library. We're in touch with Estates colleagues on a daily basis about the temperature in the library, and although we know that they are looking into finding a solution, we are concerned that they have not yet been able to find a way to adjust the temperature in a timely manner. We know that this affects students who are coming to study in the library, as it is difficult to concentrate and work when the environment is not suitable. (February 2017)

I just wanted to voice my dislike to this year changes to the library. I used to study in the silent room which was silent most of the time I was there. the third floor as the new silent area simply does not work as its an open space - every murmur from the librarians or selfish students from a different floor goes straight to the 'silent area', so what is the point? There's also much less space for all the students of Birkbeck, simply not enough space. it is my last year of studies and I am doing what I can to avoid studying here, so disappointed. I am currently using other libraries which I am paying for just because its not comfortable studying in my own university library. I understand that you cannot do much at this point but I just wanted you to consider my opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know what you think of the changes we made in the library. I’m really sorry to hear that these changes didn’t work for you and that you have not found Levels 3 and 4 of the library a good enough space for you to work. We have created a laptop-free area at the back of Level 4, and we find this area usually quiet, but agree with you that the noise from the lower floors travel. We are looking at developing Level 4 next summer to make it a truly silent space, but of course this will be too late for you.

It's through listening to students' feedback that we decided to create an area for group work, and it is very well used, and popular, whereas the old Reading Room was under used. However there is no doubt that students value silent spaces, and that we need to make an effort to develop these next. We are aiming at getting the balance right to try and accommodate the needs of a wide range of students, and it is of course disappointing to hear that you feel that we have let you down. (February 2017)

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