Sunday, 12 February 2012

New Build: Part 3

Amongst the shelves
Have been browsing the posts I’ve written on BtB and realised I’ve not provided an update on the college new build since it opened 6 months ago. Moving in and establishing a new library has been quite challenging, and there have been several ups and downs along the way.

Being situated on the ground floor directly next to reception and the entrance foyer, the library has a key location within the campus. The room itself is very attractive with comfortable furniture, a high ceiling and large windows. There are large inspirational quotes painted on the walls which are always a talking point with visitors. The room is smaller than we would have wanted, so the bookstock has had to be reduced accordingly with some books being sent to curriculum areas. Naturally, this has reduced the number of circulation loans, but the room is in constant use as a resource centre. The computers are in high demand, so much so that we have introduced a policy of loaning additional laptops for student usage. Being a dedicated arts campus, the MDFs are in permanent use for all manner of complex copy jobs, and the tables are used as workspace throughout the day. It is not unusual to find students in the library taking photos, designing (ie sneakily playing) computer games and building models. The number of impromptu musical jamming sessions I’ve attended has increased too, though we kindly as the stars of tomorrow to perform elsewhere. I spend the majority of my time at the main cross- curricular campus, so whenever I’m at the new arts campus I find it interesting to observe the differences in student behaviours and habits.
Comfy seating

As to be expected with any new build, there have been technical teething problems. We currently have issues with the heating system with the temperature varying from 14c – 29c. As a team, we have discovered that layers are the key to working comfortably in this campus!

Now that the campus has been open several months, things are starting to find their natural level. As time goes on, each department is adapting to suit the new environment, and the library is no different. We have conducted a student survey to ensure we are meeting their needs – which differ to the needs students had at the old campus – and things are coming together quite nicely. It takes a full academic year for things to embed and really settle down – so that’ll be my next new build post. It seems so far away, but I bet the time will fly past... 


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