University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

You only get what you give: a new, radical approach to promoting trust at University of Worcester Library Services?

Collins, Victoria, George, Madalene and Taylor, Allie ORCID: (2017) You only get what you give: a new, radical approach to promoting trust at University of Worcester Library Services? In: Mercian Collaboration Conference: In Libraries We Trust, 12th September 2017, The Venue, De Montfort University. (Unpublished)

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At University of Worcester Library Services, we recognise that, when it comes to student engagement,
trust is a two way street and that giving it is just as important as gaining and maintaining it. In any
university environment, but particularly in a unique and complex library setting such as The Hive, gaining
students’ trust is the first step in ensuring they are equipped to make full use of the resources available
and are satisfied with their library experience. However, once trust is gained, it is useless if not
maintained and particularly damaging if lost; so, with student expectations higher than ever, how do we
gain, maintain or regain students’ trust? We believe the answer lies in placing our trust in students and
working alongside them as partners in the development of our service.
In this presentation, we will outline how University of Worcester Library Services build and maintain
trust by seeking year-round feedback from our students, by listening to and trusting their opinions and,
crucially, by acting on concerns raised. We will explore in detail how we have been active in targeting
groups from whom trust is less forthcoming and taken measures to uncover the issues affecting these
particular students’ experience. Placing our trust in these students has been integral to this process and,
where students have raised concerns, we have been prompted to investigate the issue, sometimes
revealing problems of which we were previously unaware. The acknowledgement of these issues and
subsequent remedial actions taken by Library Services have been crucial in demonstrating the faith we
have in our students and, consequently, have begun to restore target students’ trust in us. This renewed
mutual trust has not only strengthened the relationship between Library Services and our students, it
has also resulted in a measurable upturn in student satisfaction amongst targeted groups.
The presentation will also explore how University of Worcester Library Services invite students to work
with us in positions of trust. We will discuss our offer of Students As Partners projects and self-guided
work placement projects, in which we rely on students’ judgment, experience and skills to contribute to
the services’ output, and how we include students in staff recruitment, trusting them to provide their
unique insight into a candidate’s suitability for a student-facing role. In each instance, students gain
invaluable experience of the processes involved in delivering the service and, in turn, we gain students’
trust by recognising their skills and demonstrating the importance of their contribution in shaping
Library Services’ development. Moreover, when students feel their contribution is significant and
recognised, we see an upturn in their desire to engage with us.
We hope to demonstrate that this, perhaps not so radical, approach to promoting trust between
students and service providers not only encourages departments to build stronger relationships with
students as partners, significantly effecting levels of student engagement and satisfaction, but, since it
requires no specialist staff or budget, is easily replicated in a diverse range of institutions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Central Services > Library Services
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Madalene George
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2020 13:11

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