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Library Advisory Group

What is the Library Advisory Group (LAG)?

The Library Advisory Group is your way of helping to shape the future direction of Library Services. It is a participatory forum that meets to explore what the Library’s users want and how the Library can best provide it. All members of the University are welcome to attend. Oh and there’s usually tea and cake.

Where does LAG meet?

Usually in Special Collections on the first floor of the Albert Sloman Library, but we’ll also be getting out and about this year, so look out for us. If you’re at Southend or Loughton, there will be opportunities to join in via social media, and we're looking to organise LAG meetings and/or pop-up stalls for you as well.

What are LAG meetings like?

Although there’s usually an element of formal business at the beginning, with a report by the Director of Library Services on latest developments, LAG meetings are generally informal and participation is welcomed. We often have workshop activities, such as building your ideal study space in LEGO, drawing a mind map of your research life, or commenting on some case study videos. We provide refreshments and an opportunity to talk to Library staff and other attendees. You bring the ideas, we bring the cake.

What happens to ideas generated at LAG?

The outcomes of LAG meetings are considered by the Library’s senior management team, and fed into future service developments. Some examples of the impact of LAG so far are:

  • The introduction of 24/7 opening hours at the Albert Sloman Library in October 2018, and extended summer opening hours from June 2019
  • The design of the Library Reading Room refurbishment (using evidence from the LEGO models LAGgers built)
  • The change of the recall period from 3 days to 7 days (following reactions to case study videos and Tinder-style dating profiles)
  • The introduction of “Shut Up and Write” facilitated writing workshops in association with the Talent Development Centre (from data gathered using mind maps)
  • Refinements to the way that reading lists are organised and trial on-shelf signage in the Student Collection to make it easier for students to get access to essential reading

More formally, LAG reports to Education Committee, and this year to Student Experience Committee, so that there is a wider University context for what we do.

How do I get involved?

Come along to any meeting and join in. Once you’ve been, we’ll let you know what we’re planning for the next meeting and make sure you’re personally invited. We’re looking for members of academic staff to come along to help represent the interests of their departments, so if you’d like to act in that capacity please let us know. One academic rep has commented that: "I was impressed by how receptive to feedback the library staff were and how genuinely interested you all are in improving the overall library experience for everyone." There will also be opportunities to join in via social media.