Thanks again for all the comments in the Library survey. They are really the most helpful part to improve your Library experience. I’m going to use this blog post to address comments and requests from the survey. I will address a couple of items raised by a number of people in separate posts.
The temperature of the library/too stuffy
The library can get stuffy at times, but you are welcome to open windows or use the fans located on the upper floors to deal with this. All we ask is that when you leave you close and turn off what you have opened and turned on, to prevent the library getting cold overnight.
There were some comments about power sockets not working on tables upstairs. This is an ongoing issue when the socket fuses blow. Please let us know which table is affected so we can report it to maintenance.
I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do about the lighting in the Library at present. You may find that some seats or areas are more or less brightly lit than others to suit your needs.
Use doors on upper floors
Sorry, this isn’t going to happen. The doors on the upper floors only exist as emergency exits.
We will look into the possibilities for more computers in the Library, but finding table space may be difficult. If all the computers are taken on the ground floor don’t forget about those on the upper floors, or the quiet study room in the Cavendish Building that has some too. If you don’t think there are enough machines around College entirely then please report this to IT.
Mac not logging in
We were informed in the survey that one of the Mac machines was not logging on. Please report problems like this to a member of Library staff or IT so that they can be resolved as quickly as possible. If the problem occurs overnight you can email email@example.com or leave a note on the enquiry desk for us.
Double sided printer
We know it is a frustration that the printer in the library no longer does double-sided printing. A new printer has been on order for quite some time now, but there have been some issues with supply. We will continue to chase this up until we have the new one installed.
We always try to ensure that enough paper is left by the printer to last until staff return to the library. This may not have worked recently due to the printer not providing double sided printing. Apologies if this has caused a problem to you. We are leaving extra paper out.
We were asked for a guillotine. We have a paper cutter that lives at the back of the library on the ground floor. It was moved there from by the photocopier as it can be quite noisy. We will ensure there are some signs telling you where to find it.
English students love the beanbags available at the Faculty, and have asked for similar here. We don’t have a budget to buy any extra furniture at the moment and, being 24/7 I’m not keen on providing anything which is too appealing to sleep on – much better to make it to your bed!
Desk on ground floor
We were asked about the possibilities of a desk on the ground floor to assist any users with mobility issues. We have a portable table, which is currently laid out to create extra study space for Easter term. We will look at locating it permanently on the ground floor as a study area, with priority given to those with mobility issues.
A few respondents mentioned the hogging of desks. We have different procedures that come into force for Easter term to try to ensure there is study space available, and we continually monitor this to look for further improvements. We welcome further feedback. For the rest of the year, we will try to monitor desk tidiness a bit more.
There are small areas in the library where the wifi signal is poor due to the architecture of the building. We already have two routers in the library in an attempt to improve signal. We will mention the report to IT, but the quickest answer may be to move seats. If you know of anywhere that is always a problem please let a member of library staff know so we can pass this information onto IT.
This year a range of information booklets are available from the top of the drop boxes. You can also find online versions on this blog, under “Library guides and leaflets”. If there’s something we haven’t covered that you’d like to see in leaflet form please let us know.
How to request items
We have a request book that sits on top of the enquiry desk. You can fill in details of anything that you would like the library to buy, and we will let you know our decision. We do want to look into having an online form available too, but for the moment please use the book.
More renewals/renew on machine
We were asked about allowing more renewals than currently. It is unlikely we will do that as the current policy of renewals already means you can keep a book for over a term if it isn’t requested. We will look at extending the grace period that you can renew books online once they have become overdue. We were asked about making it possible to renew on the self-issue machine. This is possible by going into the Account screen, but we have now made this clearer by renaming the button on the front screen to “account/renew”.
Information about new books
Details of what new books have been purchased can be seen on our Pinterest site http://www.pinterest.com/homlib/ and you can also see new books on the Heritage catalogue http://heritage.homerton.cam.ac.uk, by looking at the What’s new section on the main page (though this includes anything recently added to the Library, which may include donations of older material etc). We also sometimes have small displays of new books on the ground floor.
We always try to ensure there are adequate copies of key books available across subjects. We always try to act when we can see there are a lot of requests for a book, or when we are told that it is in high demand. But if that isn’t clear, we will assume we do have enough copies. Please tell us whenever there’s a problem getting hold of a book and we’ll see what we can do. Don’t forget that you have access to other libraries too though, and if they have a copy it will be quicker to go and borrow that one, rather than wait for one we buy to arrive.
It was mentioned that books in some subjects disappear. Please let us know if you can’t find something that should be on the shelf, as we can then look for it, and even replace it if necessary. We also have a special handheld device that can go in search of hidden books, but we need to know they’re missing first.
Comprehensive DVD section
We know that some users borrow a lot of DVDs, and that’s great. We are always looking for new films and tv shows to add to the shelves. However, we allocate a small percentage of the budget to non-academic DVDs (ie those not on reading lists) and once that is spent then that’s it for the year. Let us know what you’d like to watch and we’ll try to ensure we’re buying the right stuff.
Focusing wider than part 1
It’s nice to see that some respondents think we should look to provide resources beyond Part 1 of courses, but I know students in other subjects would disagree. At present the provision across Part 1 is varied by subject and certainly not comprehensive throughout, so we need to continue focusing on improving Part 1 in all Triposes before we can consider a wider remit.
Academic skills session in Michaelmas
We hope that the introductory academic skills session which we gave this year can be moved to Michaelmas term next year, and thus prove more timely for freshers.
“No information available” when looking at catalogue
If you use LibrarySearch to look for items (rather than the Heritage catalogue, which is only for Homerton) any items Homerton does have will come up saying “no information available”. This confusing phrase simply means that the catalogue can’t tell you more about our copy of the book eg whether it is currently on loan or not. We can’t currently do anything about creating a live link between LibrarySearch and Heritage so the phrase will remain but when you see it remember the following: 1) we do have a copy of that item 2) you can check if it’s on the shelf using Heritage or by contacting the College Library.
Poster detailing differences in catalogues
This is a great suggestion and we will look into providing something nice and visual.
Inter-Library Loans for books not available in Cambridge
This is not a service that we are currently able to provide at College Library level, but the University Library does offer an inter-library loans service for any items not available in Cambridge. More information available here http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/deptserv/ill/. Don’t forget, if the book is in just one library in Cambridge contact the Librarian, as usually they will allow you access to read it.