Glowing report for library staff

Library staff have been praised for their efforts during the past academic year in the service's latest annual report.

Library staff praised in annual report. February 2019

The report reflects on the library service's achievements for research, learning and public engagement throughout 2017-18. 

Our students placed us at the top of the Russell Group of university libraries in the National Student Survey 2018, in which we received a score of 93% for the support we provide for student learning. 

Improvements across the service mean more people are visiting our libraries than ever before – 2.6 million in all during the past 12 months, averaging 9.5 per minute during opening hours. 

The data shows students are increasingly using the full range of library services. More than 23,000 sessions were recorded at Skills@Library, which supports students to develop academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one consultations and drop-in sessions. 

Library staff praised in annual report. February 2019And use of the Research Hub – a dedicated space for researchers and postgraduates on Level 13 of the Edward Boyle Library – has risen by 50%, becoming a thriving resource for staff and students, with 11,384 attendees across 379 events. 

Students have also been enjoying the library service's improved online facilities. The new website has seen 1.4 million searches during the period in question, while students logged on to Minerva – our virtual learning environment – almost 15 million times. We increased the number of digitised readings provided to students via Minerva, totalling 10,906, so more students could access their core texts. 

Dr Stella Butler, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, said: “The University has an exceptional library service. 

“This is the view of our students expressed through the National Student Survey. In 2018, this represents the highest score of participating Russell Group universities, and is an outstanding accolade for library staff, reflecting their commitment to service, demonstrated also through accreditation for Customer Service Excellence.

“This report demonstrates that 2017-18 has been a year of incredible activity across all sections of the service. Our aim is to enrich the life of the University by providing a gateway to collections, both within the libraries and beyond. Helping students and researchers discover what they need is becoming a key focus for us as we implement our new library management system during this next year and promote our resources, including newly digitised material.

“We are working with colleagues in Estates to continue to improve our libraries, making them more flexible to support the varying learning styles of students.

“The achievements described in the annual report for 2017-18 give me a deep sense of pride and satisfaction, which I hope is shared by every member of library staff. They deserve thanks and admiration for all they do.”

Thanks to careful management of budgets, we’ve invested in new archival resources. These include The Telegraph Historical Archive 1855–2000 and Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War. We've also opened up online access to the Financial Times and the Times Higher Education Supplement. 

Work took place on cataloguing our Special Collections – the home of hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, archives and art – with 9,078 materials catalogued, thanks in part to a number of grants and awards to make more collections accessible.

Our volunteer programme allowed vital conservation work to take place. And whether visiting one of the five major exhibitions or attending one of the 157 events staged during 2017-18, gallery visitors rose to 29,335.

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