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Library performance

Evaluating library performance - How are we doing?

Our students value the library service we provide. 90% of you in the NSS said you were satisfied with the library resources and spaces. This is higher than the average across UK Universities (88%).

We spend more of the total library budget on information than the average across UK HE - 50% of total library expenditure compared to 43% as an average in UK Universities.


Library resources

We work closely with academic staff and your student reps to ensure we have the best set of resources to support your studies. We are pleased to see you are using our resources well.

  • You use our eBooks more than the average for students in the UK (235 ebook section requests compared to an average across all universities of 188).
  • You are borrowing slightly more print books than average (12 books per FTE compared to 11 across UK Universities).
  • Your use of journal articles is slightly below the UK average (at 119 articles per student compared to 144 articles per student across all UK universities). Should you want help finding and using journal article information please contact us!
  • You visit us more than students visit libraries at other universities (79 visits each a year compared to 75 across all UK Universities).


Even though we think you are receiving a very good library service, we are still interested in your comments and feedback. Either use the feedback form or email to leave your comments. 

*All data from SCONUL statistics 2017-18.

I’ve really liked the flexibility around library opening hours, as an environment for learning its friendly and helpful

More praise for the library

"The library and skills workshops are fantastic!"

"I find it very hard to work at home, the library is my main place of study."

"The librarians were very helpful."

Library entrance
There are too few computers in the library

Our PC and laptop provision

  • We have increased the number of computers available for loan within the library.
  • We have 48 laptops for 2-hour loan in our laptop cabinet (we recently doubled the number of laptops available this way). We know you like using them as the 24 laptops in service last year were borrowed more than 17,000 times.
  • We also have 24 laptops in the 24hour UBorrow loan scheme at JBP.

(Bradford Student Survey 2018)

You don't get to borrow books for a long period of time

Our loan periods

  • We try to balance the number of copies of books we can afford with the number of students on the course and loan periods. This should allow everyone to get a chance to use the resources.
  • To do this we receive reports each week of books which have reservations placed on them, and evaluate the level of supply of those books against demand. Where demand is high, we may purchase additional copies or reduce the loan periods so they circulate quicker.
  • Help us by placing reservations for books you need but cannot get hold of.

  (National Student Survey 2017)

Student at bookshelf
It would be better if there were more books for my course

Our book stock

  • We are always trying to balance the need for reading list items with the need to support broader understanding of topics. Good degrees require going beyond just what is on the reading list. If you need a core textbook and all the copies are on loan, please reserve one and we will put you in the queue.
  • We purchase reading list texts as eBooks where available, but unfortunately, not all books (especially textbooks) are available electronically. We are purchasing more background reading as eBooks, too. We have more than 450,000 eBooks on the catalogue.

  (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2017)

Printing is too expensive

Printing costs at the University

  • Printing has just been upgraded across the University and a 20% price cut has been implemented to the cost of printing. Prior to this we benchmarked our printing costs against local universities. Our charges are now below average.
  • We encourage you to only print what you need.
  • For a cheaper alternative to photocopying, scan to email is available as a free service on all printers.

 (National Student Survey 2017)

Student at wrok
Talking in the library silent zones is annoying

Noise in the library

  • We try to maintain a reasonable level of study based activity on Floor 01 and within the group study rooms. If you are experiencing excessive disturbance, please text security (07774 248531)
  • Floors 1 and 2 are now silent study spaces.
  • We know some noise leaks through the light wells from Floor 1 to Floor 2. Please let us know when this is an issue, and we will try to address it.

 (Bradford Student Survey 2017)

Student using a tablet

Library standards - books and resources

90% of students will be satisfied with the availability of resources and quality of the student environment.

How did we do?: We are delighted to have maintained our 90% satisfaction with library services in the 2018 NSS. 

95% of books returned will be back on the shelf within one working day.

How did we do?: Over 98% of our books were reshelved on time.

Issue and return machines and the laptop cabinet will be available 95% of opening hours.

How did we do?: The self-issue machines were only down for scheduled system upgrades (99.8%). The laptop cabinet worked throughout the 2017-18 academic year.

Reserved books will be available to collect within two working hours of being returned.

How did we do?: The average turnaround time for a book with a reservation being returned to the library and made available for the next borrower was 49 minutes.

95% of books on reading lists will be available within five working days of being received by the Library.

How did we do?: We just missed this target: more than 92% of the books we received were available within five working days. We are looking to streamline processes to make sure we meet this standard next time!

We will provide a range of study spaces for silent, quiet and group work

How did we do? We provide a range of study spaces and monitor their use. We also welcome your feedback on how they are working through the "text: noise" service.

Library standards - IT and technology

Library online services will be available 99.7% of the time.

How did we do?: Our Online services (Sierra, Talis Readinglists, EZproxy, OpenAthens) were all available in line with their service level agreements of 99.7% of the time.

IT Services check computers for faults every two working days.

How did we do?: The IT team check all cluster machines are working every two working days. However, we know things still go wrong, so if you find something not working, please do tell us.

Library standards - Using the library

We will be open 100% of advertised opening hours.

How did we do?: We achieved our target in 2017-18.

All students will be offered a Library induction and further information skills training.

How did we do?: Every course includes the library in its induction programme, and we offer drop-in workshops for students who arrive late. If you want a bespoke library induction, talk to a member of staff.

A staffed enquiry point will be open for 100% of our core opening hours.

How did we do?: We always have staff available during core opening hours which are 9:00-17:00, Mon-Fri. Please note 10:00 opening on Thursdays to allow for staff training). 

Emails to Library enquiry points will be responded to within one working day.

How did we do?: Although the vast majority of emails were handled appropriately, we did miss our target of responding within a working day on a few occasions. We are looking at our processes to improve this.