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About Us

Information about Library & Cultural Services.

Our Standards

Library and Cultural Services are committed to delivering excellent customer service and we continually look to improve our performance to ensure we meet the needs of our users. To do this we set ourselves challenging targets and each year measure our progress against these. 

The following table shows our performance for the last two years between the period of 1st April - 31st March.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on what you'd like our service standards to be, please contact us to let us know.


Response Times

Our Commitment Target 2021/22 2022/23
We will provide a welcoming and accessible library environment with 99% of building defects or cleanliness issues reported to the University Estates Helpdesk within one working day of us becoming aware. 99% 98% 97%
We will acknowledge all email enquiries received via within 2 hours and will send a personalised response within 3 working days. 100% 95% 98%
We will claim 98% of all live chats within 1 minute. 98% 97% 99%
We will answer 98% of all live phone calls to 3192 during staffed hours. Where a voicemail is left we will respond within 1 working day.  98% 75% 83%1
We will respond to 90% of texts to the Colchester Noiseline within 15 minutes of receipt during staffed hours. 90% 78% 89%
We will resolve 80% of Library & Cultural Services enquiries received at the Helpdesk or via chat at the first point of contact. 80% 95% 99%
All items returned to the library will be reshelved within 72 hours. 90% 100% 100%
We will make 90% of inter-campus loan requests available within 10 working days. 90% 100% 96%
We will provide an initial response within 3 working days to 90% of all comments, suggestions and complaints. 90% 100% 100%
New additions for 2022/23
We will process 99% of all Scan & Deliver requests within 5 working days of receiving the request. 99% - 100%
We will ensure that 90% of available items held in our closed access stores at Colchester will be accessible within 48 hours of a request being made, Monday to Friday. 90% - 92%



Our Commitment Target 2021/22 2022/23
For students who require alternative formats for accessibility reasons, we will provide 90% requests in an electronic version in a preferred format, where this is available, within 2 weeks. 90% 86% 80%2
We will ensure that library search is available for use for 99% of scheduled uptime with the exception of circumstances beyond our control. 99% 100% 100%
We will work with academic schools and departments to ensure all essential items on reading lists are available online. 90% 83% 96%
For print items, we will make 80% of books on reading lists available on the shelves within 4 weeks of the item being ordered. 80% 24% -
New additions for 2022/23
When we receive notification from SWIS about a student with accessibility needs, we will have responded to the student with information and guidance within 3 working days. 90% - 89%
We will process at least 80% of eligible digitisation requests for reading list resources within 5 working days. 80% - 96%
Where the library can source an interlibrary loan request, our users will receive the materials requested: within 7 days for items provided digitally (book chapters and journal articles). 90% - 90%
within 30 days for print items provided physically (books). 90% - 94%

Learning and Research Support


Our Commitment Target 2021/22 2022/23
We will aim for our workshops and information literacy sessions to be rated "great" or "good" by 90% of attendees. 90% 98% 100%
We will offer 1:1 appointments to all students based at our Colchester, Loughton and Southend campuses and those studying via University of Essex Online through our "Book a Librarian" service. We will offer a minimum of 18 appointments per week, rising to a maximum of 30 appointments per week, spread between librarians. The weekly availability will be adjusted based upon student demand and staff availability. 100%  100% 100%
We will provide a minimum of 10 training sessions throughout the academic year for PGRs and ECRs in areas across the research lifecycle in collaboration with the REO and other professional services teams where relevant. 100%  100% 100%
We will promote Open Research to researchers through online resources and promotional materials. This will include developing and updating relevant LibGuide pages and communicating with our users about new read and publish deals within 3 weeks of them being available. 100%  100% 100%





Our Commitment Target 2021/22 2022/23
We will be open for at least 99% of our advertised opening hours. 99%  99% 99%
At Colchester at least 90% of all loans and returns will be via self-service. 90%  78% 93%
We will notify users of planned interruptions to usual service (online or physical) via social media and our website, giving at least 24 hours' notice where possible. 90%  97% 100%


Our Staff


Our Commitment Target 2021/22 2022/23
Members of library staff will take part in at least 20 hours of training and CPD activities a year (on average/pro rata for part time staff). 95%  91% 89%4




From 2023, the library phone system have been moved onto Microsoft Teams which doesn’t allow for tracking of calls answered, so this service standard will no longer be measured.

2 7 requests were not delivered within 2 weeks due to delays with the publishers

3 For 2021/22 this Service Standard was affected by the pandemic and changes to book suppliers. From 2022/23 the service standard will no longer be measured as our library management system is unable to provide this information and focus has moved to the ‘digital first’ policy of obtaining new essential reading titles.

4There has been a slight dip in our aim for all members of library staff to take part in 20 hours of training per year. This was partly due to not having records for all members of the team and we aim to improve upon this in the upcoming year.