September 16, 2015, by Dan Flatt

Responding to the student voice in the libraries

Listening and responding to the student voice is something we take very seriously in the libraries. We run focus groups throughout the year and have a team of Library Ambassadors on the ground.

One recent example of responding to the student voice is reflected in our trial for a different food and drink policy. We did this by borrowing some ideas from supermarkets!

During the spring term of 2014/2015 we gave George Green library students the opportunity to vote on the following the statement

 “Which food and drink policy would you prefer in the new George Green library?”

Voters were given the following options:

  • Option 1: No food and drink in silent study areas (except bottled water)
  • Option 2 Cold food and hot or cold drinks permitted throughout all areas of the library

In order for users to cast their vote, we provided thousands of green tokens and two boxes; one for each option.

We left the voting boxes open throughout the month of February. The results were very clear.

Option 1 – 401

Option 2 – 1599

Using this form of democracy, we were able to see that over three quarters of voters would prefer a more relaxed approach to the food and drink policy.

Following this vote, we have (very successfully) trialled the most popular policy on food and drink in the new George Green library. We will now be trialling this same policy in all of our other libraries this year.

This was a very popular method of capturing the student voice. Look out for more ‘tokens in a box’ voting coming to libraries throughout this year.

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