CoLRiC Survey 2020 – Executive Summary

May 26th 2021 – In February 2020 CoLRiC launched a new annual survey for members. It replaced our previous performance indicator survey and was designed to inform operational and strategic planning and reflect considerable change across the Further Education and Sixth Form College sector. It comprised two questionnaires – one for staff and one for students. However, the COVID-19 pandemic intervened…

CoLRiC Executive Committee member Helen Crowther (Library Manager, Blackpool Sixth Form College) reflects on the impact of the subsequent lockdown on the survey results.

There were significant issues with data collection. The first lockdown was announced after the survey had been launched. This meant that responses included both pre-and post-lockdown data which distorted the results. Obviously, student views, requirements and feedback during the lockdown were dramatically different from feedback collected before.

Regardless, some interesting broad-based themes arose from the survey.

There were lots of good news stories we extracted from the survey data; a wealth of compliments students made about their library and learning resource services. They very much value learning resources and services and the support of library staff. There was also universal praise for outreach activities, collaboration with curriculum teams and college leadership, alongside our significant contribution to e-learning.

It will come as no surprise to CoLRiC colleagues that there were comments about resourcing and infrastructure deficiencies, most notably a demand for more study spaces and flexible access to additional IT facilities. In essence, the more PCs and laptops, the better.

Staff responses to the survey focused on the library and learning resource service contribution to curriculum development and integration and collaboration with College management and leadership teams.

Only 50% of service heads were members of College leadership teams; a role crucial to ensure service relevance and visibility across the organisation but also to ensure adequate resource allocation and to influence at a strategic policy level. Future CoLRiC surveys will monitor this issue and explore the variability in library and learning resource service representation at a senior College level.

Highlights from the survey have been distributed to members.