The university library has announced that a large number of improvements to the loan system will be put into action in time for the new term.
Students can expect alterations in all areas, which will hopefully improve the quality of the library system for all users.
Limits on the number of books that can be taken out have been increased, with Undergraduate students allowed to have 15 books out at any one time, instead of 10. Taught Postgraduate students will be given the maximum of 20 books, whilst staff members and research Postgraduate students will be given no limit on the number of books that they can take from the library.
Further changes include longer loan periods for lower use stock, the ‘Reserve Collection’ being converted to ‘Course Collections’, and a new six day cycle for loans, with Saturdays now being included.
These changes come after a decline in print loans saw only 890,000 books being taken out, whereas 2.2 Million ebooks were accessed at the same time. The changes ‘will increase both availability and flexibility in the use of print material.’
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Sasha Watson, said:
The review of the policy is only natural, given the recent heavy investment in online books and subsequent uptake of online materials, and the introduction of a Saturday service helps to make the Library more accessible throughout the year. The Library services at Southampton are ranked as one of the best in the country, and the move seems to come at time of adapting to a new style of delivering library services and maintaining its reputation.
Where there might be problems, though, is with the extension of 4-hour reserve collection books to all-day loans. That said, 40% of the collection are now available online, and problems do exist, this can be easily resolved – students unable to find particular books should let their course representative know (or the lecturer directly), who can review the provision of library resources and increase supplies of books or re-categorise the length of loan for books if necessary.
The entire news release from the University itself can be found HERE
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