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Use this form to make suggestions for the library. Suggestions that others have made are also posted here.

All suggestions will be posted to the library's website unless a personal reply is specifically requested.

Suggestions and Responses

Microwaves on campus

Please, please, please make microwaves available on campus 24/7


Dear James

The Library does not have the resources or facilities to provide microwaves. Perhaps you could approach the University Union staff for further advice:


Number of library users

More of a question. How many students use the central library each day/ annually?


Dear Dez

Unfortunately it is not possible to count the number of students using the Central Library as there is no way to specifically identify OU students from all other users. The total number of visitors to all of the library branches was 2,554,347 in 2015. The Central Library is by far the busiest of all the Dunedin branches with approximately 1.5 million visitors travelling through the entry gates annually.

Peak occupancy of the Library system last year was 87%.


Adjustable desks in the library

Hi there,

I am just wondering why all the standing desks that were on the ground floor of the central library have been removed over summer. Is this a temporary thing, or have they been relocated somewhere else? Using standing desks is much better for health and I have found it improves concentration. Promotion of the use of standing desks across campus would be beneficial. Thanks!


Dear Sarah

Thanks for your enquiry. There are adjustable desks on the 3rd floor of the Library which are currently being used by the Library to gauge how popular different study spaces and setups are with users of the space, so please feel free to make use of these. As budgets have permitted, more adjustable desks have been installed across the Library system eg. ground floor at the Science Library and the ground floor at the Robertson. The ground floor at Central used to have built in bench units with computers however these were removed after due consultation with ITS.


Library book returns

Can there please be a returns bin close to the west doors in the library?


Dear Julie

Thank you for your enquiry. I can confirm a returns bin is currently on order for the West Entrance to the Library.


Library microwaves

I know there are microwave ovens available from 8-5pm at the campus, but after that, those areas for student use are closed. Is it possible for the library to have a microwave for student use, especially at night (unless there is, and I am just unaware)? It will greatly benefit those who are at library till at night especially nearer exams. I've utilized several library outlets, including the central library, dent library, medical library and Robertson library.

Thank you.

Dear Dez

Thank you for your enquiry. Provision of microwaves is not a Library responsibility. However, you could approach OUSA for assistance.


Cleaning in the libraries

Is there any possibility of the library having a cloth and spray bottle available at the reserve desk or something to be able to clean tables before using them. I find desks are often dirty or have stains on them and whilst I don't expect the cleaner to clean these it would be good if a cloth were available to clean it if you want to. I have also noticed some of the red chairs in central, and the likes of computer chairs in the commerce labs etc are disgustingly dirty and I'm pretty sure have not been cleaned since I have been at uni (years!). Shouldn't these at least have a yearly spring clean given the numbers of students using these? Apologies if some of this is outside the library scope but I couldn't find anywhere else to put this.


Dear B

Thanks for your message. Study spaces and surfaces in the Central Library are cleaned regularly outside of opening hours so as not to inconvenience Library users. Provision of cleaning fluids and cloths is not the responsibility of Library staff, but if you have concerns about the state of particular tables etc, then please alert Library staff at the nearest service desk and the problem will be handled. The red chairs in the Central Library are cleaned annually along with other soft furnishings as they are, indeed, heavily used. However the computer chairs in the labs are not within the Library's scope of responsibility.


Stand up desks

It would be great to have some stand up desks available in various libraries. These are becoming recognised as healthier workstations - with research showing that sitting at work for prolonged periods can be detrimental to health. It would be great if stand up desks were considered in any library upgrades. Thanks!


Dear Josh

The University Library installed twelve adjustable stand up desks at the beginning of this year on the 2nd floor of the Central Library. We are observing the use students are making of these. The Science Library 1st floor is to be remodelled over the coming summer. At this stage we are planning to include some stand up desks in this redevelopment. We are aware students appreciate a wide range of furniture styles in the Learning Environment that the University Library is developing.


Loanable laptops

Hi, I have seen other universities where laptops can be loaned out to students from the library. I think this would be really useful for students who do not have their own laptop, and would benefit from a loan during times of course work etc. where they need to work outwith the library opening hours and therefore cannot access the desktop computers. Could you possibly consider this?


Dear A

Thank you for your suggestion. The Library is, unfortunately, not resourced to provide laptops for loan. Current data gathered by ITS (Information Technology Services) also indicates that most Otago University students now possess their own devices.


Heating in the Law Library

Hi there,

Is there any possibility of getting better/more/bigger heaters in the group rooms in the Richardson? The rooms are often cold unless and until the sun comes around and heats them up a bit. It is often 16-17 degrees.
Further, there is a gap between the rooms which carries noise between the two quite easily and could probably be fixed with a bit of expanding foam down the window side.


Dear Brendan

Thank you for drawing our attention to the temperature and noise issues in the two adjoining Group Study Rooms on the 9th floor of the Law Library in the Richardson Building. We will consult with Property Services personnel over trying to resolve these two issues.


If the library can provided us some spots to leave our belongings, it might reduced people leaving their stuffs at study areas. I think St David building really needs microwaves available for students.



Dear H

Thank you for your suggestion. The library branches are primarily designed to provide maximum space for tables and seats and other essential library services, leaving little room for bag storage. We are also not resourced to police Library users' belongings - this is the responsibility of the owners. There are lockers available in the Link area next to the Central Library. The issue with microwaves is probably best raised with the staff responsible for the St David Street space:


Food in the library

I think that the Central Library should consider banning all food consumption within its perimeters. Once, I had to sit next to a table which had been covered in cake left by some messy eater. At night, I have seen many of the rubbish bins full to the brim with discarded food wrappings, bottles, and some food waste. It would not only make the library cleaner but it will also improve its image. Would the Central Library please consider this idea?

Best regards,

Dear Andrew

The Central Library is located adjacent to food outlets and therefore it is very difficult to police food and drink coming in and out of the premises during opening hours. The Library has Conduct Guidelines posted in each branch and these provide guidance on the types of food and drink permissible in all of the libraries. If you have concerns about food/drink that is messy or smelly, please inform a Library staff member as this type of food should be consumed outside of the Library building and the consumer will be asked to remove it.


Loanable cell phone chargers


Many time times I have been caught out without a phone charger on campus. While I understand that we are predominately a library, it would be awesome if the library housed a few generic chargers (Samsung and IPhone) to borrow similar to the Reserve system. Cheers

Miss Walter

Dear Miss Walter

Thank you for your suggestion. The Library is in the process of developing new service points which will, in all likelihood, include provision for recharging phones. We hope to provide this service in 2015.


Library hours

I noticed below that you are extending your hours in 2015 to 7am-11pm, which is great. However, I was wondering whether it has been suggested that you have one library with longer hours than the rest.

Currently, you have all your libraries open till 11pm, except the Dental library. With the result that you have partially filled libraries up until 11pm. I feel that there is demand from students to have a library open later than the current 11pm close. I understand that you will have resource restrictions, so I wonder whether you could close one of the less popular libraries early, say 9pm, and then extend the hours of central to a bit later at night.



Dear John

Thank you for your suggestion. As you have indicated, the Library is indeed restricted by resources with regard to opening hours. The four main libraries are open for longer hours than the Law and Dental Libraries so as to enable students to use a library within their particular 'precinct' as the branches are distributed across a fairly large area. In the past, there have been complaints about the lack of access to Library facilities and differing opening hours, so the drive has been to create as much consistency as possible. As with everything, it tends to be a work in progress so your comments have been taken on board..


Book stack range guides

Just several hints at improving the level of user-friendly access to your fine collection on level 1: Please label your range guides along the center access like I find in the Uni of Otago's Central Library. Also, you have such a great selection of occupation therapy books that is worthy of having its label noted on the range guides on the outside and inside access to the book ranges of shelves. Thanks for making these low-cost improvements.


Dear M

Many thanks for your suggestion. The Library is in the process of reviewing all of its signage to make it more user friendly and useful to the Library users. Your idea will feed into this work.


Library hours & Library Search | Ketu

Closed all weekend over the university break?? Closing at six every other day? This is ridiculous. Postgrads don't get a break between semesters! I need to be in the library, this is a joke. The ongoing cutbacks to the Otago University library services are becoming farcical. Between this and the impractical and barely functioning "library search" what on earth is going on? Does the university no longer care at all about student's research? Really cross about this. Of all of the things to save money on, our main research resource should not be one of them. This is a university for goodness sakes, we need to be able to get resources.


Dear Kathryn

In 2013 the Library extended its opening hours during semester time. The Library is now open from 7:00 – 23:00 Monday –to Friday. In 2015 these will be the opening hours seven days a week during semester time. The Library is not resourced to maintain these hours for the full year. Out of 52 weeks there are approximately 8 weeks when opening hours are reduced.

After the introduction of Library Search | Ketu in December last year we have sought feedback on improvements to the system. If you would like some specific help or have specific feedback in using Library Search please don't hesitate to make a time with your Subject Librarian. During Semester Two 2014 we will be meeting with staff and students on future enhancements to our interface, we would welcome your participation in this process.


New library catalogue

I'm finding the new catalogue system unreliable in locating books. One search didn't show the library as having a particular book but because I felt sure it did, I followed up with library staff and yes the library did have the book. Library staff have been really helpful in this process but I'm really concerned about all the extra work they are doing to compensate for an unreliable catalogue system. The previous system seemed very reliable.


Dear Karen

I'm sorry you are experiencing problems with Library Search | Ketu. I want to assure you that Library staff and the software vendor are working hard to resolve problems and concerns around locating library owned material and feedback on improvements to the system are welcome. If you (or your department) would like some specific help in using Library Search please don't hesitate to make a time with your Subject Librarian or alternatively you can consult the Self-Help Guide which includes lots of video tutorials on the new catalogue ( During Semester Two we will be meeting with staff and students on future enhancements to our interface, we would welcome your participation in this process.

Cate Bardwell
Information Services Manager

Noise in the Central library

Throughout the exam period, there have been several times where people have been talking loudly (to others or on the phone) on the couches along to the right of the IT desk on ground floor (below the celebrity squares). When this happens, everyone in the celebrity squares, and those opposite the squares too, hears ALL of their conversation as it drifts upwards, which is very frustrating. I think some signs telling people not to talk there would be helpful, or maybe move the couches elsewhere.


Dear John

There are various areas within the Central Library that, by dint of the building's design, are noisier than others and this suits the different types of activity/interaction required by Library users. The Library is in the process of developing strategies to better indicate what sort of areas are available for quiet study space and where people can find interactive space. Because the ground floor is a particularly high traffic zone and offers multiple services as well (ITS and Library) it tends to be difficult to monitor noise. However, we have taken note of your concerns and will factor this into our planning.


Study spaces in the Central library - 'Parking Tickets'

The central library is usually packed around the 2-3 weeks before exam. Students should not be allowed to occupy seat and table if they are not there for more than 15-20 mins. I have noticed that students often occupied seat and table but go out for a long lunch. This is not fair for students that are on site and want to get some work done. Some students even go as far as 1 person occupying a whole table (brown long table) on the 1st and second floor. :(

Central Library User

Dear Central Library User

Thank you for the heads-up, as this is a problem that occurs each semester. Central Library staff will begin monitoring seat booking and distributing 'parking tickets' if seats are left unoccupied for more than 20 minutes.


Quiet zones in the library

Please put the "third floor is a quiet zone" signs back up in the library and actually enforce it and shush people who are talking. People are being very rude and it makes it difficult to get work done. Thanks


Dear Stacey

Thanks for your suggestion. The Library is currently looking at mechanisms to better define quiet and noisy zones across all Library branches. This may include signage that is more obvious as well as using different types of furniture and physical layouts to inform Library users as to the different types of space available.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to ask Library staff for assistance if noise is particularly problematic.


Loanable laptop chargers

Just thought it might be a good initiative to be able to loan out laptop chargers to people at the swipe of their ID cards. Maybe the lost property laptop chargers could start off to see if there's any interest.


Dear Caz

Thank you for your enquiry. The Library is currently looking at the potential of this idea as well as providing access to phone chargers, however complications lie with accommodating different interfaces.


History of library books borrowed

Hi there, I'm wondering whether records of returning(history of borrowing) can be tracked in "my account"?

Cheers, Leo

Dear Leo

Thank you for your suggestion, and my apologies for the delayed response. Currently this facility is not available in 'my account', however Library staff are investigating this functionality as well as any potential privacy issues associated with it.


Self-issue machines for Close Reserve books

In the science library I see they are trialling a new system for checking out close reserve books. You either check it out yourself on the touch screen computer, or take it to the counter. The problem is every time someone takes it to the counter to get checked out, the alarm goes as they walk through the sensors. This is very distracting for people trying to do work in this area. There didn't seem to be this problem last year, so I was wondering if there is a way the system can be arranged so the alarm doesn't go off all the time?


Dear Jamie

Self-checks in the Reserve area have been recently installed at Science, Central and the Robertson Library. Like any new service, it will take a little time for Library patrons to get used to it and the changes to the existing set up. This includes not leaving the Reserve area with books that have not been checked out. Library staff are actively assisting users with the self-checks so the alarm noise will decrease as folk are instructed and get used to the new arrangement.


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