Performance and feedback

The Bodleian Libraries is committed to understanding the needs of our users and assessing our performance in meeting these needs. We strive to ensure that the voices of all sections of our community are heard: undergraduates, postgraduates, academics, researchers, lecturers/tutors, visiting scholars, alumni, the national and international scholarly community, residents of and visitors to Oxford, the international library community, and funders of our work.

We are also committed to measuring the effectiveness of library services and our performance in achieving our strategy.

We measure our performance through a number of methods, including statistical analysis, reader surveys, gathering feedback, and targeted user research.


We value your views and opinions, and we welcome all suggestions and constructive feedback – positive or negative.

You can provide comments and raise questions and concerns through:


The formal mechanism for gathering feedback is the CLiPSs. These subject- or library-focussed committees meet every term, and comprise representatives from academic staff, students and librarians. All members of the collegiate University are welcome to raise any issues relating to the provision by, and strategy of, the Bodleian Libraries with the relevant CLiPS by contacting the Chair.


Each of the 6 site libraries has its own CLiPS. These meet termly and report to the Social Sciences Divisional CLiPS, which reports to Curators.

  • Social Sciences Divisional CLiPS – Chair: Dr Nick Owen
  • Social Science Library – Chair: Dr. Ariell Ahearn
  • Law Library – Chair: Prof. Edwin Peel
  • Tylor Library – Chair: Prof. Amy Bogaard
  • Sainsbury Library (+ Egrove Park) – Chair: To be appointed
  • Education Library - Chair: Dr Liam Gearon
  • Latin American Centre Library - Professor Eduardo Posada-Carbo

The Head of the Social Sciences Libraries attends Divisional Board with a standing item on the agenda.

The Keeper of Oriental Collections attends a meeting of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies Committee each term.


The Medical Sciences Division CLiPS meets termly, chaired by Professor Rebeccah Slater, and reports to Curators. There are no departmental CLiPSs within Medical Sciences Division.

In addition, the relevant librarian attends the following departmental committees:

  • Biochemistry Undergraduate JCC (Hilary Term)
  • Clinical Student JCC (termly)
  • Experimental Psychology Undergraduate JCC (termly)
  • Experimental Psychology Graduate JCC (termly)
  • OUH FT Education and Training Committee (quarterly)


There are 9 Faculty CLiPSs and 1 sub-Faculty CLiPS, all of which report to the Humanities Divisional CLiPS. There is strong engagement with the Faculty Board as all the Faculty CLiPSs have at least one member of the Board sitting on the CLiPS or the Chair of the CLiPS having ex officio membership of the Board.

  • Humanities Divisional CLiPS – Chair: Tbc
  • Art History – Chair: Dr Helen Gittos
  • Classics – Chair: Professor Jane Lightfoot
  • English – Chair: Dr Jane Griffiths
  • History – Chair: Dr Helen Gittos
  • Linguistics – Chair: Dr Kerstin Hoge
  • Modern Languages – Chair: Dr Jonathan Thacker
  • Music – Chair: Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach
  • Philosophy – Chair: Professor William Mander
  • Theology & Religion – Chair: Professor David Downs
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies – Chair: Tbc

The relevant Subject Librarian normally attends Faculty or sub-Faculty meetings to ensure that key points of library business can be presented and that queries can be answered directly.

The Keeper of Oriental Collections attends a meeting of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies Committee each term.

Archaeology CLiPS is in Social Sciences (Humanities-only aspects are covered by the Classics CLiPS).

US Studies (excluding literature) and African Studies are covered by the History CLiPS.

Film Studies is covered by the Modern Languages and English CLiPSs (as appropriate).

Latin American Studies and Slavonic Studies are covered by the Modern Language, History and Area Studies CLiPSs (as appropriate).


The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisional CLiPS meets termly, chaired by Professor Stephen Faulkner, and reports to Curators. There are no departmental CLiPS within Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences.


The Continuing Education CLiPS meets termly, chaired by Dr Mark Smith, and reports to Curators.


Raise your comments and concerns directly with the librarian for your subject.


If you have feedback about a particular library, you can contact the site librarian or head of reader services for that library.

All our libraries have a comments book where you can leave your feedback. Ask at the desk.

Find a library


If you have a general comment about the Bodleian Libraries as a whole, you can email Richard Ovenden, Bodley's Librarian:


You can tell us what you think via our social channels: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Reader surveys

We undertake regular surveys of our readers to assess user satisfaction and expectations.

Every 3 years we carry out a readership-wide survey to help us understand the breadth of readers’ views and to feed into our strategic planning. University members and Bodleian Reader card holders are invited to take part.

We also undertake ad hoc surveys to assess specific services or feed into local decision-making.

User research

We undertake targeted pieces of research with specific groups or users or about a specific topic, library or service. Recent examples include:

  • Usability testing of the new website with students, alumni and external readers.
  • Usability testing of a replacement for the Green Slip special collection ordering process.
  • Interviews with Humanities students about their requirements for study spaces within the Schwarzman Centre.
  • Navigation and wayfinding tasks in the physical libraries with new students wearing eye tracking glasses.
  • Observations of readers using the non-print legal deposit interface.

Join our user pool

We have a database of Bodleian Libraries' users who are willing to be invited to take part in user research. If you would like to join this user pool, please complete the relevant form:

We will contact you no more than four times a year to invite you to take part in a specific piece of user research. You do not have to take part in any of the research we contact you about. By completing the form you are not committing to undertake any research, just giving us permission to email you.

You can withdraw from the user pool at any time by emailing

Research reports

User research that may be of interest and use to the international library community:

Related links