Senate House Library

How to make a formal complaint and how we will handle it

Senate House Library (SHL) is committed to providing excellent service and we invite feedback to ensure the continuous improvement of our services and facilities. We want to know when we do things well and what aspects of our service our members appreciate; but we also want to know when things go wrong or when members feel that our service can be improved.

Making a complaint

How to comment or complain

You can complain in person at SHL or by phone, in writing, by email, social media or by using our comments and complaints forms at the service points or our online feedback form.

Problems are often resolved simply and quickly by speaking to a member of our staff or a manager in the relevant department or by speaking to our Customer Services team.

However, if you are not satisfied or if Customer Services or the department considering the matter believes that a more substantive review is required, your complaint will be considered under the formal complaints procedure.

First Stage – formal complaint

If you wish to make a complaint you should write to:

Customer Services
Senate House Library
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street


Telephone: (0207)862 8460

Our Customer Services Officers will always handle and deal with your complaint at first instance. We aim to resolve complaints quickly and with direct involvement of the section of SHL that provided the service. This usually means an on-the-spot investigation and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem.

We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.*

*In exceptional circumstances, a complaint may be escalated to the Senate House Librarian at the earliest opportunity. Exceptional circumstance can relate to serious, high-risk or high-profile issues.

Second Stage – further investigation

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require further investigation, say involving different aspects of our service.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days.

Where appropriate, we will discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for.

We will give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

Third Stage – contacting the Senate House Librarian

After our Customer Services team has fully investigated and reported to you, if you consider that the matter has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, you should raise your complaint, in writing or email, with the Senate House Librarian.

At this stage you should write to the Customer Services team setting out why you are unhappy with the response you have received and why you believe that your complaint needs to be investigated further.

The Senate House Librarian will either review, investigate or appoint another appropriate SHL senior manager to review the matter and report their findings to you within 20 working days of your referral request.