Answered By: Ewan McCubbin
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015     Views: 115

I’m enormously grateful to you for taking the time to give such detailed and sincere feedback about the quality of service and support you have received from our staff.  We pride ourselves on being able to the best we can with the resources that are available to us.  I shall make a point of feeding back your comments to my colleagues.

In terms of your other feedback, I’m sorry that you do not feel that the refurbishments have been a good idea.  Our view is that the refurbishment was much needed and has in many ways being extremely successful.  We have been able to significantly increase the number and types of study spaces as well as introducing a layout and security infrastructure that has allowed us to increase opening hours by 20% during semester and 50% in vacation periods. 

Footfall in the Library has increased by 50% since the first phase of the redevelopment and the Library’s score in the National Student Satisfaction survey has risen by 20% in the last two years.  So, whilst I’m sorry you don’t personally believe it’s been a worthwhile exercise, I think the view held by the majority of our students is that it was much needed investment in a heavily-used facility that had not had any capital spent on it since its construction 34 years previously.

In terms of our investment in the collections, the University did actually increase our collections budget considerably at the time of the redevelopment project and we have continued to invest in both our print and digital collections since then.  You are right to point out that an increasing number of our print books are located in store and I’m afraid this is a trend we are likely to see continue.  The Library’s shelves are at capacity already and we have very little growth in our stores so we are therefore working with the University to secure additional storage facilities. 

The challenge to us as library managers is to find a balance between the demand for study space and the demand for open shelves for print stock.  In an ideal world we would have the physical capacity to provide guaranteed study space to all users whenever they may want it as well as not having to put material into store.  In the absence of this ideal, we believe our current balance is the best we can provide given the building’s constraints.

Finally, the decision to relocate the CAS collection into the Main Library was reached in consultation with and the agreement of the school.  In our view, this move has improved the collection’s accessibility to the wider University population, its bibliographic control, circulation management and its security.  None of the material relocated from the CAS class library is in Library storage.

I hope this helps answer your questions but please get back to me if you have any more comments.  Thanks again for your kind words about our staff.

Best wishes

Ewan McCubbin (Assistant Director)