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Kingston LRC User Survey: Accurate or optimistic?

By River Reporter Jan 31, 2013

Kingston University Learning Research Centre have revealed the results from their LRC User Survey 2012/13.

Rochelle Claxton

Kingston University have revealed encouraging answers to the question: What is the best thing about your LRC?

Unsurprisingly, the top answers included: a good variety of books, the incredibly helpful LRC staff, and the fact that the LRCs are open 24 hours a day. According to the survey, 87 per cent of 1,657 participants felt that the library offered a “good service”, but despite all the praise, it seems that some students are still unhappy about the library’s facilities, especially at night.

Following the uproar from the ‘Spotted: Penrhyn Road Library’ page on Facebook, student activity in the library has shown to be sometimes less than productive, despite all the facilities.

The LRC staff have not as yet been available for comment, but it seems that students have plenty to say about the matter – the same three problems were mentioned by KU students nearly 20 times, with complaints about the heat, the smell, and the lack of free computers.

Never any computers

With over 1,800 computers across four different libraries, it should be a simple task finding a computer at off-peak times, which according to the user survey is any time between 5:30pm and 8:30am. But as it stands, many students are having difficulty accessing the computers, or even concentrating especially as the evenings wear on.

The River asked its 1,754 Facebook followers about their experiences in the LRC and the same problems were mentioned frequently by over 20 students: the noise, the smell, the heat and the lack of computers.

One third year student commented: “There are never any computers, ever”, due to the number of students using Facebook or Youtube in the library. 

Another student said: “[Penrhyn Road LRC] it’s overheated and stuffy, it’s always packed and you can never find a free computer. I think it’s too small for the amount of people studying at Penrhyn Road.”

Common room

Many students have pointed out that the computers are being used to access Facebook, and it was not fair that they should have to wait around for people who were not studying.

The LRC survey revealed that 73 per cent of students found the libraries comfortable places to study in, but another complaint about the LRC was the amount of noise, particularly from the first floor. One student said: “It’s like a common room.”

If you have experienced any problems in the library, let us know via the River Facebook page or via our Twitter: @rivernewspaper.

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