Last month SLIC published the first annual Scottish FE Library survey where, in partnership with JISC RSC’s, we scoped trends and developments in library services across the country. Our findings included the fact that most library managers are qualified librarians and colleges take a positive approach to staff development for library staff. Significantly, where the college library has no professional librarian, learners are less likely to have access to electronic resources or induction sessions in making best use of library resources.
Now another survey report has taken this a step further in its review of student satisfaction and library provision in the UK higher education sector. The report prepared by CIBER on behalf of Research Libraries UK analysed data from the National Student Survey and SCONUL national library statistics to uncover links with student satisfaction.
Some of its findings are very interesting and support CILIP’s advocacy for the service our members provide and the value they add to the work of their organisations as well as our commitment to CPD in post:
- After institutional size, the strongest predictors of overall library satisfaction are the percentage of library staff that is professionally qualified, followed by the level of library spending;
- The strongest library predictors of overall course satisfaction were staff hours spent in (library) training per student FTE and annual loans per FTE user.
This type of analysis is set to become more important as the financial challenges and competition for budget share increases. RLUK’s report on the importance of libraries and the difference made to student satisfaction by availability of professional library staff, connects to another study being led by the University of Huddersfield (home of Information Professional of the Year, Dave Pattern) under the JISC Activity Data Programme. The aim of this project, which began last February, is to prove a statistically significant correlation between library usage and student attainment. Due to conclude in September, CILIP in Scotland has managed to secure an ‘early indicators’ report from the Project Team who will deliver a session at our annual Conference in Glasgow on 7th June as part of the FE/HE strand. That’s one session I don’t intend to miss. What about you?