Suggestion box comments 31.10.17, 06.11.17 & 09.11.17

“Pretty please turn the heating up :)”

“Turn up heating on 5th floor (Lit area)”

“Clean the toilets more often please :)”

We work closely with colleagues in Estates to maintain the Library environment in terms of temperature and facilities. When you tell us it’s too cold or that the toilets need cleaning, we report this promptly to the Estate Management Helpdesk.

However, we’re also aware that it’s a big building that is difficult to keep warm and clean, particularly given its age, and we’re looking for longer term solutions as well to making the building more cosy.

Emma Wisher, Student Engagement & Learning Support Manager


Suggestion box comments 19.10.17

“*Water filter on ground level
*Enforcement of ‘whisper’ zones i.e. people often noisy in whisper zone
*Really like idea of ‘silent room’ but people came in to talk”

To respond to the comments in order:

We’ll be installing a water fountain in the newly refurbished Library Reading Room which should be available soon.

We’re sorry to hear that your experience of the whisper and silent zones so far has been disappointing. During core hours, members of Library staff are roving throughout the building helping to monitor and maintain the zones, but if you find the study conditions too noisy at any time, you can contact our noise textline on 07557 290664 and a member of staff will respond.

We’re really interested in how you experience the zoning of the Library, and what we can do together to make the Library a great environment to study in. If you’d like to be part of the conversation, why not come along to “In the Zone?”, a Library Advisory Group workshop to help us put you in the perfect place to study.

Emma Wisher, Student Engagement & Learning Support Manager


Capture This year, we’ve introduced a new zoning approach to help make it easier for you to find your ideal place to study in the Library.

Collaborative Zones  can be found in the group study rooms and the landings of each of the upper floors (2-5). Here you can do group work, eat cold food and drink hot and cold drinks.

Whisper Zones make up most of the other study areas of the Library, including the Student Collection on floor 1, and both the Postgraduate and Library Reading Rooms on the ground floor. These areas are for quiet individual study, and you can have hot and cold drinks here.

Silent Zones are areas for those who don’t want any distractions, with only bottled water allowed. We’re trying out different areas of the Library as Silent Zones to see what suits you best. Check the whiteboard on the ground floor for the current Silent Zones.

Hot food is not permitted anywhere in the Library so please eat it before you come in, and help keep the Library environment pleasant for everyone.

We want to know if we’ve got it right. You can let us know by any of the usual feedback channels, including talking to a friendly member of staff (look out for the yellow lanyards).

Even better, you can come along to “In the Zone?”, a Library Advisory Group workshop which will be taking place on Wednesday 22 November in Special Collections (first floor of the Library), 3-5pm. You bring the ideas, we’ll bring the cake.

Emma Wisher, Student Engagement & Learning Support Manager


Print top-up machine

A few students have let us know that they’d like a print top-up machine in the Library, similar to the one that’s in the Student Centre. We’ve therefore looked into this to see what the possibilities are.

Unfortunately we don’t think it’s a viable option at the moment, due to the cost of the machine and the day-to-day operational requirements in terms of the amount of cash involved, and keeping the machine up and running.

However, we recognise that the ability to easily top-up by a small amount is something that you would like, and we’ll be talking to IT Services about what we might be able to do in future to facilitate this.

Emma Wisher, Student Engagement & Learning Support Manager

Suggestion box comment 06.10.17

“There’s more to a library than just books… Think about it.”

Absolutely, we couldn’t agree more. And it’s something we do think about on a daily basis. Here are some of the “not books” things that we do:

  • Providing a positive environment for you to study in
  • Having a dedicated team of Subject Librarians, to help you learn how to do better research for your assignments
  • Putting on events and exhibitions to add colour to your time at Essex (why not come to our next “Words With… Caleb Femi” at the Lakeside Theatre on Fri 20 October or check out the ASL50 exhibition on the first floor?)
  • Having a friendly team of staff at the Helpdesk and roving around the Library to help you with any questions at your point of need

Think there’s more we could be doing? Come along to the first Library Advisory Group meeting of the year on Wed 22 November, where we’ll be asking how we can help you to make the Library the perfect place to study. There’ll be cake.

Emma Wisher, Student Engagement & Learning Support Manager

Suggestion box comment 14.09.17


“To wipe the tables. Crumbs accumulate and I find I have to wipe them down before I work.”

Thanks for your comment. We know that the Library isn’t always as shiny and clean as we would like and have been working closely with Estates over the summer to improve the situation. We had a deep clean last week and will be aiming to keep an eye on study areas and to alert colleagues if anywhere needs attention.

We’re also implementing a new zoning policy this term. This will mean giving a clearer indication of where in the Library it’s OK to eat food, and where only hot & cold drinks are allowed (in line with Library regulations). Hopefully this will help to keep the environment comfortable and pleasant for everyone.

Emma Wisher, Student Engagement & Learning Support Manager

Welcome to your feedback blog

Library 91We wanted somewhere that we could respond to the feedback that you leave for us on our whiteboard  and in the suggestions box at the Albert Sloman Library. So here it is!

We aim to respond to as many of your comments as possible, either to say that we have taken action as a result, or to explain why that might not be possible.

All of your feedback is valued and helps us to improve the way our services work for you.

As well as the whiteboard and suggestion box, you can leave us feedback in the following ways:

  • In person, by talking to any member of Library staff
  • Via
  • On Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @UniEssexLibrary
  • On the new feedback form on our website
  • By taking part in our UX project
  • At Library Advisory Group meetings, where feedback meets cake

So let us know what you think!