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Customer Services

Library and Learning Services feedback

Let us know what you think about our services

At Solent University, we value your feedback and use comments, suggestions, compliments and complaints to improve our services.

If you have any comments or suggestions about the services we offer in the library, we would love to hear from you.

Annual report

We have made it straightforward for students to give their feedback and for staff to respond and record.

Due to the pandemic, we did not produce an annual report for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. However, we do have reports based on our Online Chat statistics for those years, which can be seen here.

Make a suggestion or pay us a compliment

There are several ways to do this. You can:

You don’t have to give your name and contact details but if you do, we will reply to you personally.

Suggest a book, journal, DVD or database you think we should have

If you would like to suggest new books, journals or other resources for the library to consider buying, contact library.support@solent.ac.uk

Make a complaint

If if you are unhappy about any aspect of the services you receive from the library, please let us know. Find out how to make a complaint on our comments, compliments and complaints page.

Our response to your feedback

As a result of your feedback, we have put in place a number of improvements. These can be found on our you said, we listened page.

 

Online Chat Statistics

In 2023, we received over 833 online enquiries. A detailed analysis can be found in the report below. 

The report from 2021 takes account of the first 6 months of the year (as a new online chat system was in operation from August 2021 onwards).

We have since completed a quarterly report on our online chat statistics, all can be found below.

Comments, compliments and complaints

Listening, responding, improving

At Solent University, we value your feedback and use comments, suggestions, compliments and complaints to improve our services.

If you are happy with the service you have received from the library, we would love to hear from you.

Our staff work very hard to give the best possible support to students and university staff and we greatly value your feedback and encouragement. It’s just as important that you tell us if you are not happy with the service you have received. We are continually looking to improve our service and we take all feedback seriously and will take action where appropriate.

Our customer engagement strategy outlines the different consultation methods used to find out what students think about the services offered by the library, so that we can develop and improve them.

How to give us your feedback

There are several ways to do this. You can:

We may publish your comments anonymously on our you said, we listened web page.

You don’t have to give your name and contact details but if you do, we will also reply to you personally.

Find us on Social Media

We welcome feedback about the library via social media and we do take your comments into account when reviewing or developing our services.

 Instagram  Facebook  Twitter

How to make a complaint

The first thing to do if you are unhappy about any aspect of our services is to speak any member of the library staff. They will try to resolve your concerns immediately. You can also raise a complaint via our online chat service.

If you are unhappy with the way you have been treated by a member of library staff, please ask to speak to the senior staff member on duty.

If you cannot or do not wish to make a complaint in person, you can submit a complaint by:

  • Sending us an email to library.suggestions@solent.ac.uk
  • Telephoning Chris North, Library Services Manager on 023 8201 3677
  • Sending a letter to Chris North, Library Services Manager, Solent Library, East Park Terrace, Southampton, SO14 0RJ.

How and when we will respond

We will acknowledge any written or emailed complaints within two working days of receipt. You will receive a full response to your written complaint within ten working days (as appropriate).

You can see the processes we will follow in responding to your complaint on our flowchart.

We aim to treat all customers fairly

However, if you are not satisfied with how we respond to your complaint and feel that you have been treated unfairly, please contact:

Fiona Cooksley, Associate University Librarian
Solent University Library, East Park Terrace, Southampton SO14 0RJ
Email: fiona.cooksley@solent.ac.uk
 

Your complaint will be acknowledged within two working days. We will investigate it further and provide a written response within ten working days (as appropriate).

Polls

Learning Spaces 2021/2022

During March 2022, we conducted a poll on Social Media (Instagram) to understand more about which floors of the library students prefer to work on.

On this occasion we asked students the following question:

Here at Solent Library... Which is your favourite floor to work on?

We received a total of 45 responses. The results are as follows:

  • Basement/Lower Ground Floor - 7 votes
  • Ground Floor - 5 votes
  • First Floor - 14 votes
  • Second Floor - 19 votes

As shown, the second floor of the library appears to be the most popular choice for working on. This information helps us to understand a little more about your use of the library learning spaces.

Bookable Socially Distanced Computer/Study Spaces 2021/2022

During August 2021 we consulted with students using an online voting poll to see whether they would like to continue to have bookable spaces that are socially distanced. We were intending on keeping this as one set space for students to use if they felt more comfortable having a socially distanced area to study in. 

On this occasion, we asked students the following yes/no question:

"Would you like the library to offer a small number of bookable computer/study spaces in limited areas that are socially distanced?"

We received a total of 56 votes on this poll. The results are as follows:

An equal number of people said yes and no - 28 for each. 

We decided that, because it was just as many people who said yes as said no, we would put in place a small number of socially distanced computer/study spaces in area 0A. 

We are going to repeat this poll with a slightly adjusted question to find out if people are still keen to keep this area the way it currently is. 

UPDATE

During February 2022 we ran this poll again. However, this time we slightly changed the wording of the question which can be seen below. 

“Would you like the library to continue to offer a small number of bookable computer/study spaces in 0A that are socially distanced?”

This time round we had 76 responses and the results are as follows:

64 yes and 20 no

As a result of this poll we will be keeping the bookable socially distanced study spaces in place.

Reservations 2016/17

During February/March we consulted with students about our reservation service using a voting poll. 

On this occasion, we asked students the following yes/no question:

"Are you aware that you can reserve items that are currently on loan to other users?" 

The total number of votes we received was 521.

The results are as follows:

It was very close, with 261 people answering yes and 260 people answering no.

Thank you for your feedback. As a result we will be promoting our reservation service more in order to make more students aware of it.

24 hour opening 2015/16

From 28 October to 4 November we consulted with students using a voting poll again. However, this time around we didn't just use the polling station, we also used an online poll to help to reach out to more students via Twitter.

This time we asked them to decide which option they preferred for our 24 hour opening period.

The two options were as follows:

  • Option one: 24 hour opening to begin on 16 November BUT not continuing during Easter vacation.
  • Option two: 24 hour opening to begin on 30 November AND continue over Easter vacation.

The total number of votes we received was 415 (400 from the polling station and 15 from the online poll).

Thank you all for your feedback - we have decided to begin 24 hour opening on the 16 November and we are looking at options for opening the library during Easter vacation.

Update: The 24 hour opening will not continue during Easter but will continue from Sunday 10 April 2016.

We consulted with student representatives at the student forum event on 12 November regarding a new service development to extend library opening during the Christmas vacation period. 

We spoke with 29 representatives and asked them if they would be likely to use the library if it was open between Christmas and the New Year.

We also asked them to give their views on whether students on their course might use it. The majority of the representatives said that they would be likely to use the library during this period. Those who said they were not likely still considered it a good idea because other students might need to use the library.

The results are as follows:

Thank you for your feedback and we infact opened for three days during Christmas and New Year.

Facebook free zone 2014/15

During March 2015 we consulted with students using a voting poll. 

We asked - Do you agree we should have Facebook free computers?

The total number of votes we received was 168.

52% said yes, 48% said no.  

As a result of your feedback we have decided to keep the Facebook free zones but reduce the number of computers affected. 

 

Surveys

Library Evening Survey 2022

In November 2022 we conducted a survey to find out about library users in the evenings. 

The survey consisted of 17 questions; 14 were multiple choice and 3 were open-ended questions, with an open text field to input answers. This was a more in-depth survey to help us find valuable information on how the library is used in the evenings and by whom.

This survey gave us valuable information on the type of users and also feedback on our services. 

Customer Feedback Survey 2021

The Library and Learning Service (LLS) conducted a customer feedback survey based around student satisfaction, staff helpfulness and timeliness. The survey consisted of 6 questions; 5 were multiple choice or rating scale and 1 was an open-ended question with an open text field.

We decided to keep the survey short to keep it quick and easy for students to answer and provide us with some valuable feedback.

The results of this survey are very positive, and we are pleased to see that the majority of students have a positive response to our service.

Computer and Study Space bookings 2020/2021

In March 2021 we conducted a short survey to determine if students were able to book a computer or study space for the day/time that they needed.  

This short survey gave us an indication that increasing demand for computer and study spaces means that you are not always able to get the booking slot that you need.  

As a result from the start of May 2021 we have increased the number of booking slots available.  We shall continue to monitor the demand and open up more space when it is space to do so.

Information Point Survey 2019/2020

The library team created a survey consisting of 2 questions. This survey was created in order to collect student feedback on the service at the Information Point (MIP). We chose do keep it short so we could gain quick feedback and also so we didn't take up too much of your time.

You gave us feedback on:

  • How long you had to wait
  • How satisfied you were with the standard of service received

We found that the majority of students were satisfied with the service they received from the MIP.

The survey can be found here:

B and C Floors Survey 2019/2020

We surveyed some of you in 2018 asking for your views on the side floors of the library (1B, 1C, 2B, 2C) ahead of a planned refurbishment (you can read this survey evaluation below - B and C Floors Survey 2018/2019). We wanted to gain your opinions in order for us to shape the refurbishment around your needs and wants from these areas. Following on from this, in Summer 2019 these areas were refurbished based on the feedback we received from you. We then wanted to carry out another survey to find out how satisfied you were with the refurbishment, 

You gave us feedback on:

  • If you used the spaces in the previous academic year
  • How frequently you use the spaces
  • How satisfied you were with the changes made

We found that the majority of you were satisfied with the changes made. Some examples of comments you made were:

  • “It emphasises the space appropriately and it allows many students to come and study”

  • "A lot better organised”

The survey can be found here:

Information Point Survey 2018/2019

The library team created a survey consisting of 5 questions. This survey was created in order to collect student feedback on the service at the Information Point (MIP). 

You gave us feedback on:

  • What kind of help was required
  • How long you had to wait
  • How you felt about the standard of service received

We found that the majority of students were satisfied with the service they received from the MIP.

The survey can be found here:

B and C floors survey 2018/2019

The library team created a survey consisting of three questions and two comment boxes. This survey was created in order to collect student feedback on how satisfied students are with these areas, and to get an idea of what students would like to see in these areas. This is because we are planning a refurbishment in Summer 2019. 

You gave us feedback on:

  • How important certain factors are when using these areas
  • Any likes or dislikes about these areas

The feedback we received was extremely helpful in us shaping the ideas for our refurbishment.

The survey can be found here:

 

Focus group 2017/2018

The library team held six focus groups to gain feedback about how students feel about the service the library provides. 

Some examples of the feedback you gave are as follows:

  • Which area of the library do you choose to work in and why?
  • If you feel safe in the library
  • Your experiences when asking staff for help

We gained lots of important feedback from the focus groups.

The feedback received can be found here:

Ground floor silent area survey 2017/2018

The library team created a survey consisting of four questions and one comment box. This survey was created in order to collect student feedback on how satisfied students are with the silent area on the ground floor of the library. 

You gave us feedback on:

  • Why you chose to work in this area
  • How satisfied you were with this area

We identified that the majority of students who took part in the survey were satisfied with this part of the library.

The silent area survey can be found here:

Library LRC satisfaction survey 2016/2017

The library team created a survey consisting of 11 questions and two comment boxes. This survey was created in order to collect student feedback on the type of help student's require from the library LRC (Learning Resource Centre), and also how satisfied student's were with the help they received from the Library LRC helpdesk.

You gave us feedback on:

  • Why you chose to work in the library LRC

  • How satisfied you were with resource/service you were provided with
  • The type of help you required from the library LRC staff
  • If you had any likes or dislikes about the library LRC

We identified that the majority of students who took part in the survey were satisfied with the customer service they have received from the library LRC desk.

The library LRC satisfaction survey evaluation and results can be found here:

Information Point customer service survey 2015/2016

The library learning resource team created a survey consisting of nine questions and two comment boxes. This survey was created in order to collect student feedback on the customer service that student's received at the Information Point (MIP) desk.

 You gave us feedback on:

  • How long students waited to be seen at the MIP desk
  • If students received the type of help they needed
  • If students were satisfied with the service they received
  • If students had any likes or dislikes about the library and learning resource centres

We identified that the majority of students who took part in the survey are happy with the customer service they have received from the MIP desk.  

The MIP customer service survey evaluation and results can be found here:

Area 0C - group study area survey 2014/15

In order to collect student feedback on area 0C the library learning resource team created a survey consisting of eight questions and two comment boxes:

You gave us feedback on:

  • What do students use area 0C for?
  • Does area 0C meet its current purpose?
  • Do we need to introduce different approaches to booking arrangements?
  • H|ow can we make area 0C better for students?

There was a positive response to the survey.

We identified that most students are happy with the booking arrangements but would like the booking periods altered.

The area 0C survey evaluation and results can be found here:

You said, we listened

In order to continue to improve our services we need to hear your opinion on what the library is doing right or wrong. 
We value your feedback and act on it.

Have your say

There are a number of ways in which you can give us your feedback:

Below are some examples of how your comments have shaped our service during most recent academic years. For examples from previous academic years please see the PDF documents at the bottom of this page.

2023/24

You said - "Booking study rooms hourly doesn't fit in well with our timetables - can this be changed?"

We did - we have now changed the minimum booking time for study rooms from 1 hour to 30 minutes; the booking grid shows the slots in 30 minute increments. We hope this helps fit in with students schedules.

You said - "It would be helpful to have laptop bags to carry the loaned laptops in"

We did - we have made some laptop bags available for loan, these can be loaned for a week alongside the laptop. Please just ask a member of staff at the information desk if you'd like to use one of these.

You said - "Can we use the library at the weekends as a teaching space?"

We did - we made arrangements so that the third floor of the library could be used as a teaching space at the weekends.

2022/23

You said - "Could we have a new smaller more accessible printer?"

We did - A new printer which is accessible for wheelchair users has been installed in the library.

You said - "It gets really cold in the Assistive Technology Room, please can you do something about this?"

We did - We added an electric fan heater attached to the wall. We hope this will provide more heat and make students feel more comfortable when using this room. This heater does have a function whereby if it will turn off if the room is not occupied. 

You said - "Can we have some speakers to use with the computers in the Assistive Technology Room and the group study rooms?"

We did - We have a pair of speakers available for loan from the Information Desk in the foyer of the library. Use the QR code on the posters in the group study rooms to check the availability of the speakers. 

You said - "Please could you heat the library more efficiently?"

We did – The radiators are thermostatically and timer controlled. In addition, we contact the Estates Team when the building is too hot / too cold and the temperature can be altered. 

You said - "Why are the lights always on?" 

We did – Most of the lighting in the library is controlled by motion sensors. These sensors have been adjusted to take account of how busy certain areas of the library are. Stairway lights are not motion sensitive due to safety considerations. 

You said - "There should be more information on the library website." 

We did – There is a limited amount of space on the main university website for the library.  However, we have numerous pages which link from the main library page detailing all our services. 

You said - "Could my bike be more secure outside the library?"

We did - You can now purchase a High quality heavy duty bike lock at discounted price from the University.

You said - "Can the library be open longer around deadline season?"

We did - We increased the opening hours for the weekend of 29th and 30th April - from 10am-5pm to 10am-10pm both days. This was in line with deadlines. 

2021/22

You said - "Is it possible to have an area we can use for online learning or meetings etc.?"

We did - there is now a signposted area in the Lower Ground Floor of the library for you to use for these types of online learning events or meetings. These can be used by individuals or in a small group. 

You said - "Can we still have some socially distanced computer/study spaces in the library that are available to book?"

We did - We have made floor 0A a socially distanced area with bookable computer and study spaces.

You said - "The cups keep running out on the coffee vending machines, can you please do something about this?"

We did - We now have a new vending machine that dispenses cups with each coffee, we hope this resolves any issues with cups running out.

You said - "Can the library stay open longer during assessment periods?"

We did - The library is now open 24/7 beginning at 8.30am on Monday 15 November, until 11.45pm on Friday 17 December.

You said - "We'd like the taxi service to run from the library again"

We did - the Students' Union will once again be running their Safe Solent taxi service. Safe Solent is a free taxi service, ran through Radio Taxis. We want to make sure that you can keep up with your studies but have peace of mind that you can get home safe during late evenings, nights and early mornings spent in the library.

You said - "Can we have some more comfy seats in the library?"

We did - There is now more soft furniture around the library for you to use. 

You said - "Is it possible to have a broader range of fiction books in the library?"

We did - We have expanded our collection of fiction books. These can be found on floor 2C of the library. 

You said - "Can we please have access to all of the individual study rooms now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted?"

We did - In line with university and government guidelines, we have now made all of the individual study rooms available for you to use again.*

*Due to the ventilation of these rooms, we closed every other room during the pandemic. 

You said - "can we have some cutlery to use with the snack pots from the vending machine?"

We did - There is now cutlery attached to all of the snack pots.

You said - "Can you make it so that computers in the Assistive Technology Centre are bookable?"

We did - You can now book a computer in advance for the Assistive Technology Centre. You can also still turn up and use the computers if they are available. 

2020/21

You said – "Do you have more laptops to loan?"

We did We have made all our laptops available for an extended loan period and will be increasing the number of laptops available

You said – "I need help finding electronic resources for my dissertation"

We did –  We increased the range and number of electronic resources available

You said (during lockdown library closure) – "I am leaving Southampton and need to return books?"

We did (during lockdown library closure) - We provided a drop off point for final year student who were leaving Southampton at the end of their degree

You said – "certain books and resources I need aren’t available online, therefore I need to access print copies from the library. However, due to Covid-19, we aren’t able to browse the shelves when the library is open and also, when the library is closed during periods of lockdown we cannot access print books."

We did – we provided a click & collect service whereby students and staff can request books via the online catalogue and book a slot to come in and collect the books. This service is available when we are open and during lockdown periods when we are closed.

You said - "Are you able to post books, because I am self-isolating?"

We did - we have been able to offer a limited postal services to students who have been told to self-isolate.

You said - "Please can the library stay open for longer periods?"

We did - The library will be open for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during May 2021.

You said - "It would be great to have the taxi service running for longer during the 24/7 opening hours"

We did - The taxi service will be operating overnight during the 24/7 period

You said - "Is it possible to please browse the shelves for books?"

We did - We are introducing a "Browse and Borrow" service from Monday 17th May 2021. A timeslot must be booked in order to use this service - you can do so by clicking here.

You said - can we browse the shelves when we are already working in the library?

We did -  We have updated the Browse & Borrow guidance. Students who have already booked a computer or study space will no longer have to book a Browse & Borrow slot if they wish to browse the shelves whilst in the library. Students who book a Browse & Borrow slot but then want to use their items in the library will still need to book a computer or study space. 

2019/20

You said - "Can we take laptops out of the library?"

We did - The self-service lockers in the library's foyer contain a number of laptops that can now be borrowed to take out of the library.  To access these you will need to select the appropriate option from the locker's touch screen.

You will need a valid campus card to borrow and the laptop must be returned by the end of the following day.

Please note: you must log-in to these laptops whilst you are on campus to be able to use them off-campus.

You said – “Can we have some Macs in the lower ground silent study area?"

We did – We have installed 3 new Macs in the lower ground silent study area which can be booked

You said - "Some of the laptops for loan do not have power chargers in the lockers"

We did - We purchased more power chargers so that all the laptop are supplied with a power charger

You said - "I need help finding resources for my assignment"

We did - You can now find new online guides for your subject area: 

http://libguides.solent.ac.uk

 

You said - "I need help with using library resources"

We did - You can now schedule an appointment with your Information Librarian using our online booking tool:

http://libguides.solent.ac.uk

You said - "I need help with referencing"

We did - Drop in to one of our weekly referencing or RefWorks sessions:

https://learn.solent.ac.uk/student-workshops

 

Your Quotes

Quotes said by you about our library service...

 

 

"The library staff were super helpful tonight and I was able to get the books I wanted."

 

"Perfect and many thanks for such a helpful service"

 

"The customer service is excellent, very friendly."

 

"The library and services have been invaluable to me throughout my time at Solent."

 

"The Library is a Beacon of Light"

 

"It is a welcoming and safe space"

 

"The Safe Home Taxi service gives me peace of mind and is a wonderful provision"

 

"As always top drawer help!"