IALS is very pleased with the excellent results of its recent annual Reader Satisfaction Survey, particularly bearing in mind the disruption this year of the ongoing major refurbishment of the library reading room floors.

The week-long survey in late February 2019 asked twenty questions of our readership. Here is a summary of the survey results:

2019 Satisfaction ratings

We had eight satisfaction ratings above 90% this year. The highest rating was “Helpfulness of library staff” at 98.2% and “Overall Satisfaction” was at 95.5%. We were very pleased in particular to see “Range of books” back up in this range at 91.1% satisfaction. The other 90% plus ratings were for our research skills public training sessions at 97%, range of print journals at 95.4%, range of electronic journals and databases at 93.5%, study facilities at 92.6%, ease of use of the library catalogue at 92.5%. In 2018 we only received five satisfaction ratings above 90%.

We also received nine satisfaction ratings above 80%. We were very pleased to see “Sufficient copies of core LLM textbooks” back up in this range at 81.7%. The other 80% plus ratings were for opening times at 89%, closing times at 88.1%, availability of PCs at 86.7%, quality of computing facilities at 83%, availability of photocopiers at 82.9%, availability of printers at 82.5%, ease of access to e-resources at 81.9% and study environment – noise at 80.6%.

The rating for “Study environment – heating” was 79.7% and the lowest rating was for “Cost of photocopying” which was 62.9 % (both satisfaction ratings actually higher than in 2018).

2019 Survey Comments

As usual we were pleased to receive lots of very positive comments about the library and library staff which are summarised in the reports.

Most of the negative comments focussed on well-known building-related issues such as the overheating in the reading rooms, lack of seats on occasion, the current Wi-Fi system, the traffic noise from the busy roads outside, the need for better desks and adjustable chairs and the need for a new group study room for discussion. The Library Management Team have been very aware of these issues for many years and this is why successive Directors have campaigned for the current refurbishment project. All these issues were included in the objectives and plans for the refurbished library and I hope that once the project is completed these type of building complaints will not be made any more.

More complaints about noise were made this year but we expected these because of the building work. We had tried to mitigate the problems though with the daily 10.00am cut off for very noisy works and the provision of free earplugs for readers. Even so the satisfaction rating for noise was not too bad at 80.5% (88.3% in 2018).

The few remaining negative comments concerned earlier opening times on Sunday (5 comments) and the cost of copying. A few people did ask about expanded public facilities for eating and drinking at IALS outside of normal working hours.

As usual we will now promote the surveys reports very widely to our readers and other stakeholders via the website, a monthly email to all readers, social media and posters around the library.

For the 2019 “You said, we did” summary report and the 2019 detailed report, please click here