RESULTS 2005 USER SURVEY


The Health Care Library has carried out this survey as part of its user consultation
and service development process. We will use the feedback from this survey to
inform the development of library resources and services in the coming year.

The 2004 user survey established a base line for this year’s survey but the results
from the 2004 survey only included library users who regularly use the physical
library resource. It was decided that in 2005 it would be beneficial to open our survey
out to the wider user base including non-users. Therefore a different approach has
been taken this year: an online survey was used with a paper copy also being
available in the library for users to fill in.


In order to reach as many users and potential users as possible the main survey
method used was an online survey. This was produced and delivered through the
“” site ( This free site allowed for
10 questions to be asked and a maximum of 100 responses to be collected. It was
also decided to have paper copies of the survey available in the library to catch users
who had not seen the online version or who were wary of filling in the online version.

Over a period of 2 weeks (April 2005) 20 paper versions of the survey were handed
out in the library to regular users and 98 responses were received from the online
survey. However, unlike the paper version, not all questions were filled in by the 98
respondents of the online version. Whether this was due to technical difficulties with
the SurveyMonkey site or whether users purposely chose to skip questions is

The survey was carried out over 2 weeks to make sure a broad cross section of
regular users was captured. Results were gained from a wide range of departmental
areas. Results from both the online and paper survey have been combined to give
the following findings.


Library Users

Most of those who completed the survey were NHS staff (95%). Only 5% were
students on placement. No Clinical Attachments filled out the survey. This is
probably because they do not have Trust network access so could not fill in the
online version. Since the beginning of the year there has also been a reduction in
the number of Clinical Attachment posts available within the hospital. Similarly
students on placement do no have network access, hence the lower percentage in
comparison with last year. Of the 95% of NHS staff who completed the survey: 57%
were Rotherham General Hospitals NHS Trust employees, 32% from Rotherham
PCT NHS Trust and 1% employed by Doncaster & South Humber NHS Trust. 4% of
the students completing the survey were on placement from University of Sheffield.

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Students from University of Nottingham and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
also filled in the survey.

By broadening out the survey through the use of the online tool responses from a
greater range of departmental areas was gained: Admissions, Audiology, Booked
admissions, Cancer services, Carats, CCU, Chaplaincy, Clinical services,
Community Child Health, Dermatology, Family planning, Financial services, General
Management, GP, Haematology, Health Advice Centre, Health promotion, Human
resources, IT, Knowledge Service, Maternity, Medical Physics, Medical specialities,
Medicine for the Elderly, Modernisation Unit, Nursing & Quality, Nutrition and
dietetics, Oak House, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Occupational health, Occupational
therapy, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Orthotics, Paediatrics, Pharmacy, Public
health, Radiology, Rawmarsh health centre, Records library, Resuscitation, Rother
Valley locality, Rotherham community drug team, Speech and language therapy,
Surgery, Therapy services, Urology, Vascular access team, Ward B1 & B7,
Wharncliffe/Oakwood Ward, Woodstock Bower

Use of Healthcare Library

In contrast to last years results most users who filled in the survey only use the
library occasionally (39%). However, a fairly large proportion (24%) use the library
on a weekly basis. 6% use the library daily. 16% monthly while 7% were new to the
Trust. These results and the fact that 8% of respondents have never used the library
are due in part to the use of the online survey tool.

                                             Use of Health Care Library

                       No reason to use library
                                     Info Skills
   Categories of use                                       5
                                                   0   5           10   15        20                25   30   35   40        45
                                                                                       % of users

Users were asked to specify the use they made of the library, most used the library
for work related information, study purposes and for finding research material. This
is in line with last year’s results as is the very surprising use of IT facilities at only 6%.
Taking part in information skills training and using the photocopier rated low at 5%.
The 6% who had no reason to use the library are possibly those who have never
used the library. 4% listed other reasons including; general reading material, CPD
and access to journals.

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Information Skills Training

                                  Value of Information Skills Training
                50                           42
   % of users

                20                                                    11
                10                                                                 0
                     Very Important       Important         Some Importance   Not Important
                                                  Importance rating

Encouragingly, no respondents felt information skills training to be not important. In
comparison to last years’ results more users felt this to be very important (47%) or
important (42%) with only 11% feeling it to be of only some importance.

Considering the fact that some respondents (15%) were either new to the Trust or
have never used the library, it is pleasing to see that 64% are aware of the library’s
rolling programme of information skills training. Clearly the publicity is still making an
impact and the evidence based medicine approach is becoming more deeply
embedded in NHS culture.

Ratings of Services

Those surveyed were asked to give a rating of “Very good”; “Good”; “Poor”; “Very
poor” and “Not aware of this service/not applicable” to a wide range of library
services. As was the case last year, the most valuable asset to the library is the
library staff. 71% found the quality of service very good. 52% of users found the
Inter-Library Loan service very good and 40% the Literature Search service very
good. These are two key services where staff work very hard to maintain a very high

72% found the range of books to be good and 63% the range of journals good. For
the bookstock this is a pleasing increase on last year’s figures. The new furniture
and re-arrangement of furniture in the library has also been noted by users with 72%
finding the surroundings to be good. The breakdown for “very good” and “good”
ratings are given below.

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                              Service Ratings Percentages - Very Good

                                                                            Staff Service

                                16        70                                ILL
                         16                          71
                                                                            Literature Searches

                                                                            Silent Study
                                                                            Information Skills
       22                                                                   Training
                                                                            Library Website

                                                                            Library Leaflets
                                                                            24 Hour Access
                                                                            Library Surroundings
                                                                            Opening Hours
                                                    36                      Library Catalogue


                                Service Ratings Percentages - Good

                               24     20       72
                         26                                                Library Surroundings
                   31                                                      Journals
                                                               72          Library Catalogue
                                                                           Opening Hours
                                                                           Library Leaflets
                                                                           Library Website
                                                                           Silent Study
        44                                                                 Literature Searches
                                                                           Information Skills Training
                                                                           Book Purchasing
                        48                                                 24 Hour Access

                                     49        52                          A/V
                                                                           Staff Service

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Only one service was rated very poor, 24 hour access, by one respondent. This was
also the service rated poor by 11%. The service rated poor by most surveyed, 12%,
was the range of books. Library opening hours are also considered to be poor by 8%
of those who responded. However, these are very low numbers of users.

Higher numbers of users are either not aware of or don’t find services applicable to
them. As this was a combined response it is impossible to know which answer is
most prevalent. However, as in last year’s results the A/V equipment (74%) and the
book purchase service (58%) are again not services either used or known about.
Perhaps the existence of both these services needs to be reviewed.

                                  Service Ratings - Percentages - Not aware of/Not applicable

                           Staff Service        6

                                  Books             9

                                Journals            9

                   Library Surroundings             9

                                      IT                 13

                                     ILL                 14

                         Opening Hours                    15

                      Library Catalogue                       16

                            Photocopier                             20

                    Literature Searches                                 22

                         Library Leaflets                                24

                        Library Website                                       27

                            Silent Study                                      28

              Information Skills Training                                           39

                        24 Hour Access                                                   43

                       Book Purchasing                                                             58

                                     A/V                                                                         74

                 % of users                 0       10             20          30   40        50   60   70            80


The survey asked user for comments or suggestions, the following comments were

“I haven’t been into the library for a few years! But excellent support to provide
information when requested by email/fax.”
“No, staff in the library are always there to help me when I’m stuck. You can’t
improve on that.”
“24 hours service, ooh services badly required.”
“ I am amazed at how well they process my requests, and we are always grateful for
the information they provide”
“Excellent service”

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“I really would like to use the facilities more and the only thing that stops me from
doing so is time! I’m sure that if I had the time to fully make use of the facilities they
would be very good”
“Tour around the library for people new to trust, leaflet for same”
“Although some books are excellent, many appear to be old or very old. However,
this may be compensated by use of the internet resources”
“Staff are always helpful and friendly – never had any problems, whichever service I
have used.”
“It’s a long way from our end of the hospital in maternity, but you can’t do anything
about that! I would use the library more and hope to in the near future, but current
workload is very high”
“Increase range of journals available to include ones relevant to therapies”
“More admin type courses e.g. e-mail at a higher level than training given”
“Just keep up the good work and support you provide to all library users. Well done.”
“Although it may not be able to be resolved but it is always very hot and this makes
very uncomfortable to study and often I have left because I am too hot when
otherwise I would have stayed.”
“No suggestions already provide an excellent service”
“I always find looking for books very difficult and often give up – not sure that the
layout of sections is very helpful. (Unless this has changed recently) I have recently
completed 4 years of study and always found the staff very helpful in searching for
info for me”
“More journals on clinical dietetics available, there are a number of nutrition journals
stocked – but these are more focused on human nutrition rather than practical clinical
“Improvement to appearance and furniture, greater range of journals and books
“I think it would be nice to renew loans through the internet”
“Just to say how helpful the library staff are”
“ I contact the library by phone and email. They provide me with an excellent level of
service. Jayne Griffiths is exemplary in her attitude, professionalism and willingness
to help. She is a great asset to the library”
“When under-taking a study – max 6 books for 3 weeks is not enough/nor long
“Very friendly, helpful staff”
“More IT training for staff”
“Fantastic staff. Fantastic service – nothing too much trouble”
“ Range of books could be expanded. This relates to Orthopaedics only and am not
commenting on any other speciality”


The results of this year’s survey are as favourable as last year’s results. Using the
online survey tool has been a worthwhile process, despite the possibility of technical
difficulties which may have resulted in not all users filling in every question. It is quite
likely that this online tool will be used in future particularly to reach users who do not
physically visit the library. Using the online tool has given us feedback for the first
time from users who only use the library via email/phone/fax, the largest section of
users filling in the survey only use the library on an occasional basis.

However, in order to reach student users a paper-based survey given out in the
library would be more effective. In future surveys it would also be beneficial to
separate out under service ratings the response “Not aware of” and “Not applicable”.

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From the comments and suggestions made, it is clear that there are some
improvements users would like to see. One user felt that new staff would benefit
from a tour around the library and a leaflet being availalble. This has been dealt with
recently. All new staff will receive a library leaflet in their Trust induction pack.
Library tours for new staff have always been offered but obviously not all users are
aware of this.

The book stock was commented on and this is an ongoing task for library staff. Older
stock is gradually being replaced by newer editions. The area of orthopaedics was
singled out for improvement. This will be investigated as soon as possible. Journals
in the specific areas of therapy and clinical dietetics were requested. These
suggestions will be fed into the annual journal consultation process. One user felt
the ability to renew loans over the internet would be useful. With the new WebOPAC
this, in time, will be available. A request for increasing the maximum number of loans
was also received, this is currently being looked at by the Library Strategy Group.

In the area of training, it seems users are still in need of IT training. This is not an
area the library covers as this is dealt with by the Trust’s IT trainers. Posters have
recently been displayed in the library informing users of this service.

The most positive finding again was the helpfulness of library staff. The majority of
users highly praised the staff for their flexibility, friendliness and efficiency. Clearly
the hard work of all staff is very much appreciated by our users.

The Health Care Library would like to take the opportunity to thank all users who took
part in the survey.

11/04/2010                                                                                   7

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