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Library Buildings Survey 2007

We had an excellent reponse to this year's survey on Library buildings, which was completed by 2,940 people. The survey conclusions and the 1,323 free-text comments received (over 32,000 words) have been passed to the architects currently involved in a masterplanning exercise on the development of the Main and Science Libraries.

Summary of main findings

Demographic data

The survey covered the eleven libraries used by UCL students and staff. The majority of respondents used either the Science Library (44%) or the Main Library (27%).

Half (50%) were undergraduates, 32% postgraduates (18% taught, 14% research) and the remainder (18%) were staff.

Most (93%) were full time.

Library usage

A quarter (24%) of respondents used the library daily and half (49%) weekly.

The most common activity was borrowing and returning books (83%) followed by study (56%).

Overall, 70% said they found the library easy to use.

Satisfaction with buildings

Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with the space available:

  • Space for bookshelves (66%)
  • Space to access bookshelves (63%)
  • Space for reader seats (63%)
  • Spaces for quiet study (52%)
  • Distribution of the collections over several libraries (44%)
  • Number, of large open reading areas (44%)
  • Space for computers (43%)
  • Number of small intimate reading rooms (24%)
  • Number of areas for groupwork (19%)

Users of the Cruciform Library were generally more satisfied than average on most items.

Satisfaction with provision of computers:

  • Catalogue only terminals (54%)
  • Computers available for use (40%)
  • Facilities to plug in laptops (29%)

Satisfaction with the library environment:

  • Feeling safe in the library (87%)
  • Temperature in the library (62%)
  • Lighting in the library (62%)
  • Signage in the library (58%)
  • Ventilation in the library (57%)

Satisfaction with library furnishings:

  • Seating at tables (70%)
  • Seating at private study spaces (60%)
  • Informal seating (45%)

Priorities for the future

The top priority, significantly higher than any other, was quiet zones for silent work.
This was followed by three further priorities:

  • Small, intimate reading rooms
  • More space for reader seats
  • Space to organise collections more logically

Finally, there were two lesser priorities:

  • Larger, more flexible reading rooms
  • Extension of facilities to plug in laptops
Priorities for future improvements

Overall priorities for the future.

Less of a priorityMore of a priority
Quiet zones for silent work 45.0
Small, intimate reading rooms 28.6
More space for reader seats 22.4
Space to organise collections more logically 17.5
Larger, more flexible reading rooms 8.0
Extension of facilities to plug in laptops 5.1
Improved lighting 1.7
More space for bookshelves 0.8
A variety of different reading areas 0.5
-13.4 More space for IT equipment
-16.7 Controls for temperature and ventilation
-22.3 Groupwork areas
-29.4 A coffee shop by the library entrance
-48.5 One single library building

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Last modified 11 June 2007

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