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Effective Library Support of Academic Activities
Bond University Print-friendly
  Goal

The Bond University Library's strategic objectives in support of the University's goal of maximising the value of the Bond experience are:

  • excellent customer service
  • liaison and collaboration with academic staff
  • customer awareness of library resources, facilities and services
  • contribution to the University's marketing, recruitment and alumni activities
  • cost-effective planning and implementation of information skills programs
  • information literate staff and students.

 

Each objective is linked to a set of measures, targets and initiatives. These are reviewed three times a year by way of reports using quantitative and qualitative tools as well as various benchmarking methods. The Library's Strategic Plan with operational priorities illustrates this process. It can be found at the following web site: www.bond.edu.au/Library/documents/StrategicPlan2004-OperationalPrioritiesfor2005.pdf

  Context

Bond University is Australia's first private not-for-profit, independent university. Current enrolments average approximately 2700 across undergraduate and postgraduate programs spread over four faculties: Business (includes School of Information Technology), Humanities and Social Sciences, Law and Health Sciences and Medicine.

 

Bond is Australian in character; international in perspective. Our students and academic staff come from every Australian state and from more than 80 overseas countries. Bond's student population enrolled in programs is around 50% international and 50% domestic.

 

From its inception, Bond had incorporated a number of innovative features in its structure. A teaching calendar of three 14-week semesters was adopted enabling students to accelerate progression. A favourable student-staff ratio of around 10 to 1 was also adopted from the outset, providing a nurturing and supportive learning environment, with easy access to staff; practically focused and interactive classroom; and practical experiences.

 

The undergraduate curriculum requires compulsory completion of a four-subject core curriculum that emphasises communication, computing competence, understanding management skills and organisational dynamics, and appreciation of diverse cultural and ethical values.

  Practice

Library staff are proactive in developing and maintaining excellent working relationships with customers at all levels. Some examples of the ways library staff foster their relationships are:

  • a Liaison Librarian is dedicated to each faculty as the contact person for the faculty and to develop the specialised services and resources that are relevant to each faculty
  • suggestion boxes in both Main and Law libraries provide customers the opportunity to raise issues and suggest service improvements; all suggestions are treated in a courteous manner with constructive feedback within two working days and follow up action to rectify problems whenever possible
  • frequent meetings and forums with student representatives and student groups, eg Student Council, Law Students Association
  • round table meetings in each faculty at least once a year
  • 'Chocolates and Chat Morning Tea' to welcome new and returning students in week two of each semester
  • focus groups with customers on topics of concern
  • numerous publications that inform and educate customers about new and improved services and facilities.

 

Bond University Open Day in the Library; faculties and support services on display for prospective students.

 

Chocolates and Chat Morning Tea held in the Library three times a year for all new students.

 

Student and library staff round table attendees: Nitay Levi, Law Students Association; Jenny Ng, a postgraduate law student; Michael Scanlan, Student Council; with Gillian Coutinho, Law Liaison Librarian.

 

Library staff contribute to the educational experience, well-being and morale of students at Bond University by working in collaboration with academic staff to provide information literacy education in the formal program: "Just wanted to thank you very much for giving such a great presentation to our class... the students thought it was excellent... So thanks very much, it genuinely is great to know that we can call on you for such help." (Feedback from collaborating lecturer) This is complemented by the individual assistance library staff provide to help students learn through finding and using information in their self-directed academic work.

 

Quality processes utilised include: the Rodski customer satisfaction and staff opinion surveys; the Materials Availability Survey; and processing turnaround times such as shelving, new material processing times, and document delivery turnaround times.

 

The Library has generous opening hours and library staff are often the first point of contact for visitors to the campus. The library staff ensure visitors gain a positive impression of Bond by helping with campus directions and responding to visitors' enquiries about the campus.

 

Other activities undertaken by the Library are:

  • Members of the Alumni are automatically granted free borrowing privileges.
  • The Library regularly hosts tours of school students from local high schools.
  • The Library organises regular events for the Library community at the Gold Coast to create networking and professional development opportunities for local librarians.
  Evidence of Success

In comparing Bond University Library with other Australian university libraries, the Bond Library excels in terms of the number of visits, the number of books borrowed, the number of full-text downloads of electronic information per student (based on statistics from the Council of Australian University Libraries, available at the web site: statistics.caul.edu.au/.

 

In 2002 and 2004 Bond University Library was rated in the top 25% of Australian and New Zealand libraries in the Rodski Client Survey database or in the top five of Australian and New Zealand libraries. This includes performing at, or near the top of the ratings in the Rodski database in four out of the five categories rated; that is, for communication, service quality, service delivery and library staff. The free comments section of Rodski Client Survey included many complimentary statements about library staff. For example: "I have found everyone goes the extra mile to help in all situations. I have studied at other universities and have never had the same quality of service I receive here." (Rodski Client Survey 2004)

  Resources Required

The process is mainstreamed into the Library's regular activities. Customer focus, collaboration, proactive liaison and use of project plans for all our projects are key elements of our success. The culture of proactive liaison, effective communication and collaboration with the Bond community is embedded into the Library's day-to-day activities and reinforced by way of staff involvement in the design, implementation and review of our strategic plan on an ongoing basis. The Library uses a project management approach and action planning methodology for most of its initiatives. Staff development and training for all levels of staff is a high priority for the Library.

  Notes

John and Alison Kearney Law Library Refurbishment. The Law Library's accommodation was not conducive to modern day library services. The refurbishment transformed the Library into a more user-friendly, aesthetically appealing and modern library. It is now regarded as a showcase by students, staff and the Alumni.

 

The computers and the printing and copying service in both the main and law libraries have been replaced in response to comments received from Rodski survey results and the suggestion boxes.

 

An electronic reserve has been introduced to provide 24x7 access to course readings from anywhere via the Web.

 

Bond University Library is highly ranked in a number of areas according to the statistics available in the CAUL database (CAUL statistics 2004). These rankings include:

  • No. 1 for the ratio of library entries per person (EFTSU and total persons)
  • No. 1 for the ratio of total seats available per student (EFTSU and total persons)
  • No. 2 for the ratio of opening hours per student (EFTSU and total persons)
  • No. 6 for the ratio of the number of loans per student (total persons).
  Contact
Name Ms Gulcin Cribb
Position Director, Library Services
Work Phone (07) 5595 1408
Mobile Phone 0439 951 001
Fax (07) 5595 1480
Email Gulcin_cribb@bond.edu.au
Contributor Website www.bond.edu.au
Validating body AUQA
Reference document Report of an Audit of Bond University
Commendation # 12
Date this GP Posted 15 December 2005
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