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SAULCAT - St Andrews University Library Catalogue

Having your say

image of You Said We Did feedback card

There are many ways of getting in touch and you can also give us your comments and suggestions using our You Said We Did feedback cards.

User feedback drives improvements to Library services.

Here are some recent examples.

Changes to Short Loan for commuting students (2016)

photo of short loan area

We changed the return times for these books after becoming aware that this would make life easier for commuting students.

Books checked out after 5pm are now due back at 10.30am the next day instead of 9.45am.

Seat Hogging (2016)

Seat hogging campaign poster

After many complaints about students leaving belongings and 'hogging' seat, we began a campaign to discourage this. Read about it on our blog. We have since discontinued this campaign and are considering alternative options.

Store recall information (2016)

store recall campaign postcard

Customer journey mapping told us that information about our Store recall service is being missed on our webpages. We printed cards, made available at Search stations and our Service Desks.






Love letter /Break-up letter - Valentine feedback campaign

Valentine campaign 2017

On 13th and 14th February we had a stand with free heart keyrings, love heart sweets and feather quill pens. We asked you to write us a love letter or a break-up letter so we could find out how you really felt about us and our services!

You covered our poster 3 times over and in all we got 236 comments, but they can’t easily be categorized as negative or positive. Many were suggestions or requests.

  • What you like about the space /facilities (20) and some suggestions on what we could improve (16)
  • Library temperature, mainly enjoyment of warmth! (17)
  • Lack of space (12)
  • Toilets, generally lack of (10)
  • Books and resources (10)
  • Noise (6)
  • Library as a social study space (5)
  • Love and break-up
  • You <3 the Library (thank you!) (30)
  • Friendliness of Library staff (17)
  • Heartbreak / Valentine (12)
  • Break-up letters (3)
  • Untranslated 11 (from a total of 43)
  • Unmentionable – some comments included names, so we’ve saved their blushes by keeping them secret, and a few made us blush! (54)
  • About the Library Cafe (10)
  • IT Services (3)

Full discussion with our responses and examples of your comments are available on the Library blog

Library trick or treat - Halloween feedback campaign


This Halloween we had a stand with free bat bugs, toffee apples, skeleton biscuits and other sweets, all for you to take after leaving us a comment. You could add comments on green or orange post-it notes, green for what fills you with dread and orange for what was a pleasant surprise about the Library!

We covered our poster 6 times over at least and collected:

  • 256 green (tricks, things you think could be improved)
  • 233 orange (treats, things that you like)

The main issues you raised for improvement were: not enough toilets (51 comments); lack of space in the Main Library (48); temperature, either too hot or too cold (38). These areas are particularly difficult for us to address quickly, but as you can read on our blog post, the University is planning a further refurbishment project for the Main Library in the nest few years which looks to improve the toilet provision, add gender neutral toilets, expand the size of the cafe and add another 375 study spaces. 

Your positive feedback included: how friendly Library staff are (45 comments); Library facilities from being able to drink your coffee, to the variety of spaces (36); good atmosphere in the Main Library (32); good resources and access to materials for study (30). We are incredibly happy that you feel our staff are approachable and helpful and will continue to focus on maintaining and improving the facilities and resources we can provide for you.

Full discussion and examples of your comments are available on the Library blog

How to complain

If you feel the library service has let you down please speak to any member of staff or email

How will my complaint be handled?

A senior member of Library staff will be assigned to your complaint and will carry out a full investigation.

How long will this take?

Under the terms of the University’s complaint handling procedure we will endeavour to make a decision on complaints within 5 working days however under exceptional circumstances it may take longer.

How will I hear about the outcome?

Normally the senior member of staff handling the complaint will come to one of three conclusions: a complaint will be upheld, upheld in part or not upheld. Regardless of the decision a full explanation of the reasons behind the decision will be set out in writing by the complaint handler.

What if I am still not happy?

If you are unhappy at the response and outcome your complaint will be escalated to the second stage of the University’s complaint handling procedure.

Our Engagement strategy 2016-2020

So that we can offer staff, students and external users of our Library services the best experience, we seek out and act on their feedback, suggestions and comments.

University of St Andrews Library

Strategy for customer engagement and consultation


University strategy

This customer engagement and consultation strategy is aligned with the University Strategic Plan, in particular the following statements:

“We will continue to be a place where the values of the life of the mind are respected, nurtured and promoted.”

“Professional Services will continue to look to improve quality and effectiveness of what we do. We need to continue to focus on service delivery in a seamless manner, without the problems associated with organizational silos, where the end user doesn’t need to understand or need to navigate internal management structures. We will develop an institution in which things will simply be done well and without complication or hassle.”

“We will continue to assist and engage with the community in which we flourish.”


So that we can offer staff, students and external users of our Library services the best experience, we seek out and act on their feedback, suggestions and comments.

By undertaking user engagement and consultation the Library service will identify evolving user needs and use this information as a driver for continuous improvement. In doing so we shall ensure our services and facilities are shaped by those who use them.

Strategic aims

1. Develop and monitor our current methods of consultation.

We currently use the following modes of feedback:

Physical means
  • Feedback cards, with shopping voucher incentive.
  • Voting poll box.
  • Customer satisfaction cards for targetted services.
  • Feedback kiosk.
  • User group meetings: SLUG – Student Library User Group; LUG – Library User Group; LSAG – Library Strategy Advisory Board; SSSC – School Staff Student Committee.
Digital means
  • Online surveys, with various incentives
  • Email
  • Chat
  • Social medial
  • Although we respond to every feedback card that is completed (unless the language or content is offensive), we aim to extend this conversation with our users by inviting follow-up discussion so that we can more fully understand how to make improvements. We will also offer additional options for users to evaluate our responses to their feedback.
  • We will include a follow-up survey to ensure our customers are satisfied with how we responded through digital channels.
  • We currently publish all of our feedback cards (scanned card and answer) online through our webpages and often on social media, however, we do not systematically record and publish comments and suggestions from other channels. We aim to publish and disseminate the information we gather from all of these methods as widely as we can, using digital and physical means.
  • We aim to highlight and showcase each service improvement/change which has been instigated by customer engagement and consultation.
  • We aim to communicate why we are making service or policy changes within the Library before they are implemented so that our users can raise any concerns and we can address them.
  • Monitoring
  • We will gauge the popularity of the different modes of engagement and the effectiveness of any incentives by reviewing uptake and statistics.
  • We aim to collate and analyse the information we gather to identify trends and areas which need urgent action.
  • Because social media is fast-paced and reflective of a variety of networks and groups, we understand that our users may approach different social media tools specific motivations. We will continue to offer student internships with a focus on social media trends and usage in St Andrews to better understand how our outreach can most appropriately engage with these channels.
2. Develop richer, more targeted methods of engagement and consultation.
  • We are beginning to use the following methods:
  • Participant observation
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Mystery shopper
  • Focus groups
  • Customer satisfaction cards, with incentive
  • Consider how we can involve different users in gathering rich and focused research about our service delivery using customer journeys, mystery shoppers and participant observation.
  • In order to foster more engagement and consultation with representatives from stake holder groups, we will invite individuals (UG and PG students, academic staff, externals) to participate more in the review of specific aspects of our services and facilities.
  • Develop more formal and regular contact with student representative from the Students Association (SABS; DoREP).
  • Develop more formal information exchange with second line teams after engagement with School representatives (SLUG; LUG; LSAG, SSSC)
  • Many of our current feedback channels have a general focus, asking users to tell us how they feel about the service as a whole. We will aim to include:
  • Point of service customer satisfaction evaluation cards for our Helpdesk.
  • Means to gather feedback for our Store Recall / Hold shelf service.
3. Aspire to include Customer Service Criteria in all job descriptions for the Library service.

In order to encourage and sustain customer engagement and consultation, all staff should be aware of our customer service ethos and have the skills to promote and encourage this interaction.