Monday, 18 July 2011

New Build: Part 1

Last week, our library team spent a morning visiting the new build library at Northampton College. The outing was arranged as part of our staff development and I’m sure each of us left green with envy!

We were given a thorough presentation by librarian Grazyna Kuczera regarding the planning and building of the project. Grazyna is quite a character and really brought the process to life. After this we had a tour of the new facilities and oh-my-word they are amazing! It was really inspiring and the tour generated lots of discussion about library layout and design. It was interesting to hear about the ups and downs of the project and see the final version up and running. The LRC team members there were quite open and willing to share their experiences – good and bad – about it all.

Library staff from the City of Wolverhampton College were there too for a tour, which was nice as I met one them again the following day at the HUG session in Birmingham (which I blogged about here). If any of you ‘out there’ work in FE and would like to tour a new build library, I can’t recommend Northampton College enough.

We too are having a new build library. NWHC is dual site (with the addition of several small outreach centres) and our Hinckley campus is moving to a new build right as I type. It’s only a mile or so away from the old Hinckley campus but it’s still an exciting time. Today I was lucky enough to spend the morning touring the new build.

It wasn’t quite what I expected; it’s a fully functional worksite with approx 130 workmen present. Rubble lay everywhere, cables hung from walls, rooms had no floors or ceilings, the exterior lacked footpaths, but…. the bare bones of the library are in place so we were allowed in. Exciting! The room is smaller than the current Hinckley library, but that is to be expected as the new site is smaller overall in terms of ground space. Not ideal, but we can make it work. The new library is positioned next to the main entrance and reception, so it is in a very key location. The front wall looking out onto the front of the college is head to toe glass windows (which I loved!) meaning the room is flooded with natural light. The only immediate downside I could see was that the office/workroom is without a window. Obviously, the plans were all approved long before I was appointed, but it would have been nice to have a window in the office.

Since the end of term and for the next few weeks, we are packing everything into boxes ready for the move. All of our computers have already gone into storage. Organised chaos, that’s the term! There’s a very odd atmosphere at Hinckley now, with departments starting to shut down, but I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product in September.

1 comment:

  1. Well.... (deep breath)... Today I started to manage the move from the old library to the new library. The head librarian is off all week on AL so it has fallen on my shoulders. Spent the morning with the architect and the afternoon with the removals men. Came home with a terrible stress headache, which I suspect will stay with me more or less until Friday clocking off time. Please let us be fully moved in by then!