March sees the return of the biennial LibQUAL survey, which University of Westminster is running for the third time. As you may know, this survey is undertaken by a number of other institutions and seeks library users' views as to the quality of library services. Results from the survey will help us gauge year on year improvements as well as benchmark against similar academic libraries. Almost 500 respondents completed the survey on its first day, encouraged perhaps by the possibility of winning the prize – an Acer Ferrari One Netbook.
A new floor is being built in the Cavendish site library, due for completion in summer 2010. The additional space will accommodate a larger Computing collection to sit alongside Life Sciences stock. As a result of the new floor we will be able to provide a wider range of study spaces: a suite of group study rooms will be created as well as individual silent study carrels and a dedicated postgraduate room. In parallel, the Harrow site of the University, home of the School of Media, Art and Design, is undergoing a major redevelopment and with it comes the opportunity to update the Learning Resource Centre. As with the remodelling of the Cavendish site, we plan to include a range of study spaces to suit the learning styles and habits of the 21st century student.
Implementation of Primo
Primo, the ExLibris federated search product, is due to launch in the late spring. It will be known publicly as ‘Search Library Collections’. This will provide students and researchers with an improved search experience and added functionality to prompt more effective enquiries. The system allows researchers to save and re-use searches as well as use alerting services to keep them up to date with additions to library stock.
University of Westminster History Project
The University of Westminster History Project is now in its second phase, and on course to deliver two publications: A History of Sport and the Olympics (in 2012) and part 2 of the History of the University of Westminster covering 1882-1992 (in 2013), both based on original research using documents in the University Archive. As part of the project and in partnership with the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages and the Scholarships Department, we have funded a PhD Studentship for research into the Polytechnic Touring Association (PTA).