IHR library survey

2017 survey

Thank you to everyone who completed our 2017 survey. Results to follow.

2016 survey

We would like to thank all those who completed the library survey in April 2016. With over 130 responses, we now have a better picture of how the library is viewed, the range of our readers’ research interests and backgrounds and areas that we can look at improving over the next few months and years. We are particularly pleased that the great majority of respondents were very satisfied with the library, particularly with the library team, whose expertise, helpfulness and friendliness was also noted in many of the comments. In general, the survey revealed a very high level of satisfaction with the opening hours, range of the collections, reading rooms and the range of services offered by the library. We also learned more about our readership, including age and geographical profile, the length of time spent in the library (usually more than four hours) and the balance of between postgraduate or early career researchers, established academics and independent scholars.

The survey was also intended to cast light on aspects of the library that can be improved. In general, the least satisfying aspects of the library were occasional problems with printing and photocopying, the pressures on space in some of the reading rooms, particularly the First Floor Wohl reading room, the range of electronic resources and the balance between closed and open access materials (notably periodicals). The survey also suggested that the library’s collection policy, which focuses on published primary materials, could be more clearly articulated.

Action plan 2016/2017:

  1. Review and, if possible, improve printers, photocopiers, scanners and microfilm readers’ ease of use.
  2. Continue to review balance between closed and open-access materials.
  3. Produce new library guide and room plans, and promote better understanding of the collections through individual collection guides.
  4. Investigate improvements to desk lights and other environmental factors.
  5. Monitor occupancy and noise levels, and respond as appropriate.
  6. Improve signage and discoverability of collection.
  7. Develop and promote our holdings of electronic resources, with remote access where possible.
  8. Undertake more focused research on use of reading rooms by researchers. Find out more here: blog.history.ac.uk/2016/11/user-experience-in-the-ihr-library.

If you would like to provide feedback on any aspect of the library, you can contact library staff via the library enquiry office, email ihr.library@sas.ac.uk or phone 020 7862 8760.