Libraries Open Forum

Tuesday 26 March 2024

On Wednesday 15 November, we held our first Libraries Open Forum on the theme of study spaces. The event was co-hosted by Libraries and Museums and the Students’ Association in the Main Library and featured a number of feedback gathering activities as well as drinks and snacks. 

Over 300 students took part on the day, and we generated some really useful and interesting insights into how and when you want to study. Here’s what we found out and what we’ve done in response: 

  • From the range of options provided in terms of making changes to opening hours, the most popular choice was to keep them as they are. A further piece of work will be happening within the University to find out more about needs for and usage of 24 hour study space. 
  • Most attendees were interested in having some bookable group study space so we have launched a trial to make the 4 group rooms on level 2 of the Main Library bookable – tell us what you think about this! 
  • Many participants found the Main Library a bit chilly, so we’ve upped the temperature setting on levels 1 and 2. 
  • A lot of people talked about the lighting in the Main Library not meeting their needs. We have task and adjustable lighting in spaces on level 1, and will promote these to students more widely. We are also looking at what we could do with the lighting in the Contemplation Room, as well as talking to colleagues in Student Services and Estates about making the current Assistive Technology room into a low sensory space. 
  • Access to power is vital to the way you want to study. We already regularly test power outlets in the Main Library, and will be introducing signage to make it easier for you to let us know when something isn’t working. We’ve also added power to desks that didn’t have it on levels 2 and 4, and will be doing the same on level 3 over the summer. 
  • Finding the resources you need when studying sometimes isn’t as straightforward as you would like. We’re writing a series of blog posts with top tips to help you develop your search skills and get to the information you need. You can always get in touch with us via [email protected] to make an appointment with one of our Academic Liaison team for further help. 
  • You’d like to be able to study for longer on the North Haugh. Library at the Gateway is open into the evenings, after the JF Allen Library closes for the night. We’ve put information in both spaces to help you know when they’re available. As usual, we’re providing extended opening in both libraries for the revision and exam period. 
  • You let us know that finding spaces at busy times can be a challenge, and that sometimes other students leave their belongings whilst taking a break, meaning that space can’t be used. Opinions were divided on the right solution for this. We’re focusing on making sure that you know about all the different spaces we provide, as well as the fact that you can search for available teaching rooms to use for drop in study via Find Space in MySaint. We’re also providing “Take a Break” cards so that you can let other students know when you’ve gone for a break and that you’ll be back shortly (remember to take any valuables with you!). 
  • You had feedback on IT-related issues and the café which we have passed on to colleagues in IT Services and Residential and Business Services so they can feed that into their service planning. 

We’re always happy to hear from you about your experiences of our services and spaces, so do get in touch and we’ll continue to make changes in partnership with you. 

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