Statement of Core Service Guidelines for Academic Departments

The purpose of these Guidelines is to define the range and level of core services to be provided by AU Information Services to academic and support departments and staff and also any reciprocal actions which are seen as necessary to enable Information Services to fulfil the terms of these Guidelines.


  • Information Services will provide the fullest possible range of computing, library and media services in support of the strategy of the University.  Information Services is committed to providing appropriate access to its facilities to all groups of approved users.
  • Information Services will provide swift and efficient means of providing access  to its services upon completion of necessary registration procedures.
  • Academic departments and support services undertake to provide the earliest and fullest possible information on individuals who are registered with the   University or otherwise entitled to access Information Services facilities.

Service Provision

Information Services undertake to provide the fullest possible range of library and computing services during normal office hours (generally 9 -5 Monday-Thursday, 9 -4.30 Friday).  Services will be provided by the various divisions of Information Services during core and off peak hours so far as is reasonably practicable.  Any reference to working days in the text below implies service during normal office hours.

Learning Resources

Information Services undertakes:

  • to acquire learning resources for teaching and research for academic departments in a format agreed with the department, subject to sufficient financial and technical resources being made available for their acquisition and use.
  • to provide a range of catalogues and indexes to enable the identification of appropriate information resources.
  • to order new materials within 5 working days of the Materials Acquisition section receiving suggestions, or to report back to the department within that time when there is a query about the order.
  • to process and make available for use all specified core materials required for courses within 7 working days of receipt from suppliers.
  • to process and make available within 5 working days any other items requested by a user which are awaiting processing.
  • to make materials returned from loan or use available for other users via returned book shelves within 2 hours at normal times and within 5 hours at periods of peak user demand.
  • to provide materials requested from book stores for use within 2 working days.
  • to request materials not held in stock from other libraries within 5 working days and to make them available to the user within 3 days of receipt.

Academic departments and staff undertake:

  • to provide the fullest possible reference for items to be ordered.
  • to provide reasonable time (8 weeks in the case of core reading materials) in submitting requests for purchasing material to allow Information Services time to acquire it and process it for use.
  • to give 2 weeks notice of material held in stock to be placed in Short Loan when required for a module.
  • to provide appropriate funding from IS departmental allocations or their own internal funds for purchases.

Public Services 

Information Services undertakes:

  • to provide services in the Hugh Owen Library on a daily basis throughout the term and to provide Lending and other staffed services unless prevented by exceptional circumstances.
  • to provide borrowing facilities to users
  • to provide a speedy response to all enquiries.  If an immediate response is not possible then enquiries will be referred to the most appropriate member of staff. Any requests involving referral will be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt.
  • to provide introductory guidance on its services to all users through either training sessions, print materials or electronic publicity.
  • to provide guidance and training in the use of specialist information sources and computer software to groups of users and departments on request, subject to the availability of resources.

Academic Departments undertake:

  • to co-operate with sanctions against users who contravene Information Services Regulations and Codes of Practice.
  • to co-operate fully with Information Services in planning student training sessions involving library and computing materials and skills.
  • to assist Information Services in encouraging student participation in relevant training sessions.

Computing Services

Information Services undertakes:

  • to provide staffed computer support services during normal working hours.  Services will be available outside normal working hours on an unattended basis with faults being repaired at the next opportunity.
  • to respond to any faults reported in public service machines within two days.
  • to provide a resilient computing network within the University and links with the outside JANET network which will be available for at least 99% of the time during term.
  • to make the library Online Public Access Catalogue available for 98.5% of the time during term.
  • to provide a uniform base software platform across all public service clients (PCs)
  • to provide a comprehensive suite of courseware software on PCs in teaching rooms.
  • to provide a range of removable media storage devices in each room.
  • to test requested course software or electronic sources for compatibility with the public desktop within 4 weeks of receiving the material and the relevant licensing details.
  • to add compatible courseware to the public desk top within 4 weeks from successful public desktop compatibility testing.
  • to provide a reliable and convenient user operated printer service with machines located so that all main buildings are included.  All such machines will be covered by full third party maintenance.


Information Services undertakes:

  • to designate senior staff to liaise with departments and to offer an efficient response to departmental initiatives.
  • to seek regular feedback from users through a variety of mechanisms, including User Surveys, suggestion forms, meetings with Departments and the Information Services Users Committee.
  • to provide a speedy and effective procedure to deal with any suggestions and complaints which may arise regarding its services and facilities.  Any complaint which cannot be dealt with immediately to the satisfaction of all parties will be referred to a senior member of staff for attention and response within 3 working days.
  • to provide a contact name, telephone number and e-mail address in all written and e-mail correspondence
  • to disseminate timely information on changes and developments through web publicity, the Information Services Newsletter and communication with Departments as appropriate.  This includes up to date announcements in the case of actual or likely interruptions to services.
  • to initiate regular meetings with Departmental Representatives and to give guidance on their liaison function.

Academic Departments undertake:

  • to nominate a member of academic staff as Information Services Representative for the Department and to channel all IS matters through them, and to inform IS of developments in the Department which may impact on its services.
  • to invite Subject Support Team members or other IS staff to Departmental meetings when IS items are on the agenda.
  • Information Services and Academic Departments undertake to monitor performance in the targets set out in this document and to review the guidelines as necessary in the light of changing circumstances.