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Customer Feedback

The British Library Customer Services welcomes Customer Feedback. We always aim to give the best possible service and ask that you tell us when we do well, when we fail to meet your expectations or how we could improve our services.

You can give us your feedback in a number of ways, via our online comment form or by email, or by completing a paper comment form available in our Reading Rooms and public areas. Our customer surveys also play a valuable role in gathering your feedback.

Below are some of your recent comments and suggestions and our responses.

If you have any questions or comments with regards to customer feedback please email

Summary of Recent Customer Feedback

One of our users has reported an issue when opening an SED using Chrome. He has the current FileOpen plugin installed and when he tried to open it using IE9 it worked as expected. I was also able to replicate the problem on my own machine: Chrome failed to work, IE worked without issue. Is this a known issue? I have been unable to find anything official on the BLDSS website.If your browser has a built in PDF viewer, e.g. Google Chrome, you will need to disable it before you can read documents. If you are using Google Chrome as your browser, to do this, type chrome:plugins in the address bar, then scroll down to Chrome PDF viewer and click on disable. Alternatively you could use a different browser such as IE or Firefox. The BLDSS website and SED download information have been updated to include this information.
It would be nice if articles could be supplied in PDF formatOur Copyright licensing agreements demand that the electronic documents we supply are encrypted to protect against unauthorised printing. A Digital Rights Management tool (DRM) is used to apply this encryption. This currently prevents us from supplying documents as a simple PDF. If your organisation holds a current CLA Digital Pharmaceutical Licence or CLA HE Photocopy and Scanning Licence, or our Publisher Licences permit, the British Library can supply electronic documents with no DRM.
Since the introduction of colour scanning as standard for articles supplied from print, we have received regular feedback of issues with electronic delivery due to increased filesize.In response to this feedback we trialled the scanning of documents from printed sources in either black and white or colour, as per the original publication. By doing this we hoped to enhance our service by reducing file sizes (to minimise the risk of problems during electronic delivery) and lowering the cost of printing documents. Born digital documents continued to be delivered as published. The trial confirmed that this change significantly reduced the issues experienced by our customer. As a result this approach to scanning from print was adopted as standard business practice in March 2014.
Our ServiceOne customer, who had sent in over 700 requests over a short space of time, thanked everyone involved in supplying the documents swiftly and efficiently.  
Our premisesOne visitor to the Boston Spa Reading Room following our refurbishment commented that it is “the best it’s ever looked…..modern and bright and airy”
Our StaffDuring a recent visit to a customer, the British Library representative received strong praise on the quality of customer service they received from us
Our CommunicationsA customer thanked us for the information published in Document Supply News saying that it was much appreciated.


Summary of Previous Customer Feedback