Tag Archives: Library

‘Have your say’ – the full story

Claire Ridall, Nik Young & Sarah Ward

Parallel session 1, Thunderstorm 1.1
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Short Abstract
‘have your say’ is a library initiative that engages students and helps us develop a continual dialogue with them. It provides an authentic picture of students’ expectations. It’s used to spot trends and can act as an early warning system. Data is used to inform and maintain excellent student support.

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Detailed Outline
‘Have your say’ developed from a short-term library project exploring how students prefer to get help wherever they are working (in learning centres, elsewhere on campus and off-campus). Now we analyse and routinely use data from student comments in everyday business to inform minor as well as major service changes.

‘hys’ uses a variety of methods to seek student views through social media (hys blog and twitter), digital signage, events in cafe areas on campus, via flip chart boards, posters, online forms, paper comment forms and in person. Indirectly we do it through staff/student meetings providing library staff with FAQs and responses to ‘hot topics’, links with other teams and the Students Union. ‘hys’ is not just about gathering student comments, it is a continuing dialogue which champions the student experience in relation to library services and resources.

Tools like Sprout Social provide demographic and analytical information to engage and target the ubiquitous nature of student lifestyles. Prize draws, lollies and canvas bags are positive incentives for students to engage, as students approach us before we can ask them! Over 7,000 student comments have been collected, coded and analysed from across each faculty. We have taken the library to students across the campus by talking to 750 students at the last ‘hys’ event and digitally, reaching 720 blog views in a month, and 1,600 followers on twitter. Opportunities such as asking students to help us spend £40,000 on the books they would like us to add to our collection have reached full time, part time, distance learners and international students, receiving suggestions from all four faculties and from PHd students.

Changes informed by student comments include
• learning centres opening 24/7/365
• courtesy emails to remind that books are due
• improvements to the MyPC booking system
• longer café opening hours

Student library blues. An investigation into low NSS library scores for selected courses, methodologies, actions, student behaviours and expectations (2014)

Peter Gledhill & Olive Nyaga

Students’ experiences of library resources and services, both on and off-campus has a considerable impact on most students’ time at SHU.  Their rating of this experience in the National Student Survey is publicly available information prominently displayed on each course’s Key Information Set data.

Although students rated library resources and services highly in the National Student Survey for 2013 (averaging 89% across the University), there were a few courses within some programme areas that had low satisfaction scores.  After some initial discussions within a selected programme with course leaders no obvious reason for these scores was identified.  The project aims to identify reasons for low scores, establishing a methodology for similar investigations in other courses and putting in place appropriate actions.

The paper will outline the results of our analysis of;

  • NSS data for library resources and services across the university and in particular for courses in the Faculty of Development and Society including student comments
  • other student surveys such as PTES
  • students’ perceptions of learning resources questions (questions 16,17,18)
  • Comparison of courses within the selected programme area with courses that recorded high satisfaction ratings in the  NSS
  • comparison with competitor institutions’ scores for equivalent courses
  • focus groups for current level 4, 5 and 6 students
  • student questionnaires
  • library stock and expenditure analysis
  • students’ behaviour in accessing library resources on and off-campus
  • course structures including common modules across the programme
  • possible impact of course assessments
  • information literacy content, timing and delivery
  • student expectations of library services
  • messages and information given to students about library resources and services

We will discuss a range of actions that have been put in place and are planned for the coming year including work on setting and managing expectations of students.  We will address methodological issues and practical difficulties.

Reference will be made to the literature on university libraries’ responses to student feedback and students’ understanding and interpretation of NSS survey questions.

Our conclusions will be offered including the relative importance attached to each factor in the student experience. We hope that the paper will foster further discussion and ideas from the audience and potential future collaborations.