Loughbrough College – improving the accessibility of resources for students

Loughbrough College – improving the accessibility of resources for students

Loughborough College, established in 1909 is a Further Education College in Leicestershire with approximately 11,000 enrolled students. The college delivers both part time and full time vocational and academic courses for 16-19 year olds along with higher education courses in sports, engineering and business & management.

The college library re-located to new state of the art facilities in the summer of 2014, with 12 staff it is a busy and vibrant environment with recently extended hours including Saturdays to support increased accessibility of resources for students. 

The library has a collection of 16,000 text books, 500 eBooks and online content through the EBSCO Discovery service. The library also has 69 computers for students to book for research or to simply search for a resource they require.  The library is split into zones per subject area to make it easier for library users to locate resources. 

The college library is the central area for all students and staff to discover resources to support their learning, therefore ease of use and accessibility were key elements in the decision making process. 

With accessibility a high priority for students and staff alike, the library recently launched a new website with all the services provided available to use, view or book in one place with one click. Liberty integrates seamlessly with the website, where users can instantly search the library catalogue and reserve or renew loans directly from the website. This is a huge benefit as it’s easy to use and makes the library books, eBooks and journals even more accessible.

Clare continues;

“Liberty provides all the functionality we need to manage our library, the ease of use of reservations, loans and over-dues with automatic alerts saves the library staff a lot of time and we have also experienced quicker return of loans” 

The college library has enhanced Liberty with a BDZ cataloguing module making cataloguing of new resources much easier and quality monitoring more seamless.

We have library liaison staff who undertake cataloguing for their departments, so it was important to have a consistent approach. By using the BDZ cataloguing module accurate and up to date cataloguing information is automatically entered into Liberty once the ISBN is scanned. This has saved a lot of time compared to entering manually and increased the quality of our resource data, I think it is a fantastic enhancement to our library

The Liberty search functionality has further supported the ease of use of the system. With the ability to carry out basic to advanced search or refine search results, discovering resources has never been easier. Users has the choice to search by different categories or text searches, it makes it easy to find exactly what is required. 

Benefits of Liberty

By implementing Liberty library and college staff as well as students have benefiting greatly from it including:

  • Ease of management use – the college circulation team have benefited from the automatic alerts from Liberty for over-due books. E-mails are automatically sent a week before and the two consecutive weeks following the over-due date. The library has experienced faster returns of loans. The library is working to extend this to text message alerts in the near future.
  • Accessibility – students have easier access to all resources from text books to online journals. With integration with the library website, availability of Liberty on library computers, access outside of college hours, Liberty provides multiple ways to access the library.
  • Centralised resources and learning – Liberty has allowed for teaching staff to link eBooks from Liberty directly into the college VLE. This has further enhanced the accessibility of resources and centralised the library with learning. 
Loughbrough College – improving the accessibility of resources for students