I attended a Customer Services Group UK knowledge sharing event this week, called Inspired Ideas From The Sharp End, hosted by the University of Bedfordshire, in Luton.

Representatives from different academic libraries gave presentations about ways in which they have attempted to improve customer service for their users.

Some of the innovative ideas included using a snakes and ladders game to introduce key library services to new members of University of London staff; using a live google doc to better manage student appointments with academic liaison librarians during periods of high demand at UCA; and enabling students to self-police the use of computer and desk space at Birkbeck.

A highlight of the day was a tour around the new University of Bedfordshire library at Luton. You can see it, here:

Quick facts:

  • 9 floors
  • 154,000 books and journals
  • 916 study spaces, including group study, quiet study, silent study
  • 530 PCs
  • 50 laptops
  • 3 Teaching rooms
  • 2 Presentation rooms
  • Cafe

For me, though, my favourite feature was this sleeping pod, where students can nap for 20 minutes, to refresh themselves. Naturally, I had to try it out…