Library Life Pulse

The Big Picture

In the era of increased competition, rising tuition fees and the Teaching Excellence Framework, libraries have a critical role to play in helping universities attract and retain satisfied students. The quality of the whole library experience – from the physical facilities and the digital environment through to the staff culture – is an important part of how students rate their higher education provider.

Students are more serious about their studies than ever before, they don’t see borrowing a book as a simple transaction. The act of borrowing a book informs their research, enables them to write their next essay, get the grade they need and, ultimately, links to their overall motivation; getting that dream job.

Expectations are high. Students want a seamless digital experience, the perfect space for lone or group working, warmth, food, comfort and support. This is what delivering library services in 2017 looks like. It’s about designing an experience that meets users’ needs and expectations, suits their behaviour, and helps them achieve their ambitions.

The key to delivering an exceptional student experience in such a complex environment is understanding the student user.

The Library Life Pulse provides annual insight into students’ library experiences.  Designed by experts, it is:


  • To your students
  • To your stakeholders
  • To the HE sector


  • Smart reporting
  • Granular analysis
  • Expertly designed


  • Driving improvements
  • Tracking performance
  • Sector benchmarking

The story behind the Library Life Pulse

Over the last four years the University of Manchester Library has made a strategic commitment to understanding students’ experiences through the ‘Know your customer’ project. Each year, a bespoke survey and targeted qualitative research has informed strategy and benchmarked progress. The Library Life Pulse builds on this work, as well as other strategic projects with library teams at the University of Glasgow, Kings College London and the University of Sheffield.

How does the Library Life Pulse work?

  • The evidence is captured via an online student survey that has been developed by student experience specialists.
  • We’ll provide everything you need to promote it successfully and achieve a robust sample, from e-mail text and social media posts to smart hints on targeting specific groups.

What is covered by the questionnaire?

  • Your questionnaire will gather annual insight into students’ library experiences, user journeys and perceptions.
  • The pulse covers all aspects of the student library experience, including; finding and using resources, digital platforms and services, buildings and spaces, customer service, training, and communications.

What are the outputs?

  • The report will summarise your results across aspects of the library experience that you’ve included in your questionnaire.
  • The report will be presented as a series of charts and data visualisations, with effort made to make it easy to digest and share.
  • The results will show you what you’re doing well, and what needs to improve.
  • The insight will enable you to track the impact of your work and identify new emerging issues for your students as results build year-on-year.

Library Life Pulse Pricing:

Your three-year package:

Want to find out more about Library Life Pulse?

For a coffee or chat about Library Life Pulse then please contact Neesha Patel, Solutions Lead, at Alterline on 0161 605 0862 or e-mail