Libraries

Why university libraries are becoming more coffee shop and less text book

Why university libraries are becoming more coffee shop and less text book

Students spend a lot of time in the university library, but is the experience what it should be? Alterline Research Director Ben Hickman explains how university libraries can help student experience in a world where tuition fees may soon be linked to the Teaching Excellence Framework. Customers.  It’s not a word often used to describe university students. But rises in…

New project announcement:

Understanding the digital behaviour and experiences of students at the University of Sheffield Library

The University of Sheffield Library has commissioned Alterline to deliver an in-depth qualitative study investigating students’ and academics’ experiences of their digital offer. The project will combine ethnographic observation, interviews and focus groups and will culminate in a report which explores current behaviours, identifies key areas for improvement and maps users’ needs and expectations. The Library will use the evidence to shape their digital strategy and improve user experiences.

Engaging with academics: University of Manchester Library reading lists project

Engaging with academics: University of Manchester Library reading lists project

To deliver a great student experience, the University of Manchester Library is working to ensure the right texts are available to students, in the right format, at the right time. Seemingly a simple goal, there are multiple components which need to be understood and influenced; the behaviours and needs of modern students; academics’ pedagogical practices and curriculums; technological products available;…
The Power of Ethnography: Driving improvements in university libraries

The Power of Ethnography: Driving improvements in university libraries

  Ethnography literally means ‘a portrait of a people’. An ethnography is a written description of a particular culture – the customs, beliefs, and behaviour – based on information collected through fieldwork.Marvin Harris - Anthropologist   Developed from the academic discipline of cultural anthropology, ethnography is the study of people in their natural environment. It is increasingly being used by…

New project announcement:

University of Manchester Library – Staff experiences and engagement

We have worked with The University of Manchester Library for a number of years helping them to understand and improve students’ experiences. We’re pleased to announce that the team has recently commissioned us to help them understand things from a different perspective; exploring staff engagement and experiences as part of a wider culture change programme.

During the initial stage of the project, we will investigate staff experiences through online diaries and in-depth face-to-face interviews. This qualitative element will be followed by an online survey which will be repeated on an annual basis, used alongside more regular ‘pulse’ surveys that will focus on topical issues.

Shaping the future of the University of Birmingham Library

Shaping the future of the University of Birmingham Library

The University of Birmingham is building a new library which is due to open in Autumn 2016. To inform future developments, Library Services commissioned Alterline to help them better understand their user’s needs, perceptions, experiences and journeys.   A large-scale quantitative survey was completed by 2,360 students, and a series of focus groups were conducted to explore key themes and…