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Cambridge University Library


The Cambridge Libraries Survey

The 2023 Cambridge Libraries Survey ran from Monday 13 February to Friday 10 March. We asked all users of all Cambridge libraries to tell us how they find accessing information, resources, help and training opportunities in our libraries, as well as what they think about library spaces.


What is the Cambridge Libraries Survey?

Cambridge University Libraries (CUL) are continually focused on the changing needs of our academics, students and visitors. We strive to deliver a flexible and inclusive working environment for the benefit of our students, scholars, staff - and the world. The Cambridge Libraries Survey provides an opportunity for all users of Cambridge libraries to provide their feedback and opinions on the services those libraries provide. The data gathered through the survey on library users’ views and experiences are used to inform service provision and planning and to ensure that our libraries are able to fully meet users’ needs.

Using the standardised LibQUAL+ survey instrument (click here for more information about LibQUAL) and adapted to suit the collegiate university context, the Cambridge Libraries Survey asks respondents to outline their expectations of library services in areas such as space, service, discovery and collections, as well as their perceptions of the provision they currently receive at Cambridge.

The 2023 Cambridge Libraries survey was open during Lent Term 2023 (Monday 13 February to Friday 10 March). The survey was distributed and promoted to all current students and staff at the University of Cambridge, as well as other users of Cambridge libraries such as NHS staff.

CUL previously conducted the survey in 2020, and plans to repeat it on a three-yearly basis.

Why do CUL conduct the survey?

The aims of the Cambridge Libraries Survey are:

  • to provide a picture of the overall user experience of Cambridge libraries
  • to provide the opportunity to benchmark with peer institutions, and to measure the progress of Cambridge University Libraries over time

How do CUL use the survey data and results?

Data gathered from the survey will be used in the following ways:

  • Informing strategic thinking, planning and prioritisation at Cambridge University Libraries, at a service-wide level and also in individual library action plans, highlighting opportunities for immediate response and for further investigation
  • Ensuring that library services at the University are aligned with users’ needs and expectations, making sure the libraries provide a high-quality user experience, aligning to the University’s goals and ensuring that Cambridge continues to be a world-leading and attractive destination for students, researchers and academics.
  • Data and analyses related to Cambridge College and Department/Faculty libraries and their users may be made available to those libraries, pending enough responses and without risk of identifying an individual respondent. Further, the results of the survey may be of use in informing University policy in areas such as use of space.

Data and privacy information

Click here to access information about how the Cambridge Libraries Survey data is handled and how respondent privacy is protected.


If you have any questions about the survey please contact:

Cambridge University Library

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