The refurbishment has brought a lot of disruption to Information Services colleagues and they’ve all been so supportive and cooperative in accommodating the refurbishment works. Whether its storing bits of furniture in their offices, cwtching up to make space for colleagues temporarily displaced from Level D or losing the staff tea room for the duration of the works, they have been fantastic. Thank you all.
Here are some of them making do in our temporary, makeshift tea room.
Recent feedback to the library from students and staff at AU:
- “I strongly believe the Hugh Owen Library should be completely redone. Ideally from the inside and outside.”
- “[would like to see more] Group (non-silent) study areas, with computers. Definition between silent and non-silent study areas. More rooms like the joy welch room that can be booked. Also [more] bathrooms […]”
- “[would like to see more] Improvement in creating a lighter and brighter library.”
As a result of feedback from library users and the obvious need to update an outdated building, Information Services (I.S.) proposed a £2M refurbishment of the Hugh Owen Library over a 4 financial year period, 4 tranches of £500k. The first phase of the work being Level D over 2 financial years (2016-17 – 2017-18), with Level E & F taking the remaining 2 years of the project.
As a key service in the University throughout the year, it is paramount that the library remains operational throughout the refurbishments and it was agreed that we would start first with the main reception area of the Library on Level D.
Drivers for the project include:
- From regular student feedback, there is a clear requirement to maximise, update and improve appropriate student study spaces on Level D. The space currently feels significantly dated and is no longer meeting user and staff needs.
- The space for staff working on Level D is cramped and the current layout means those not timetabled to work on the enquiry desk remain on view to users. This results in frequent interruptions to staff and a poor experience for users who may perceive they are being ignored by these staff.
- While I.S. scored very well in the ‘We Are Aber’ survey, our poorest score was the “The department has visually appealing facilities and/or materials” question for which we scored a 56.7% satisfaction rate; all other I.S. scores were in the 70% – 86% range.
- Evidence from the sector indicates the high importance of library and information resources to both student satisfaction and student recruitment. See https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/news/student-experience-survey-2017-expectations-are-high-for-learning-resources and https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/student-experience-survey-2017-build-facilities-and-students-will-come
- Improving the space and services on Level D, as the Library entrance area and location of the Library and IT Enquiry Desk, would have the greatest impact on current students and is additionally our shop window for prospective students.
Our plans for Level D include:
- Reconfigure the layout to improve the flow through the building and user access to facilities and services. This will include moving the main library entrance to face onto the Piazza.
- Open up and repurpose some of the existing ‘back of house’ areas to provide additional user space. This will include a vending area, additional bookable group study rooms, student toilet facilities and seating for computers and individual and group study.
- Improve the lighting, heating and ventilation to make a more comfortable environment for our users.
- Update the decoration and furnishing to provide a modern and well-designed space that meets our users’ needs.
While Level D will be closed during the refurbishment, the Library will remain operational throughout the building works with staff and services relocated to Level E of the Library and normal opening times unchanged. Please keep up with our plans on the Library refurbishment webpage and send us your feedback: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/news/librefurb/
This week our Library & IT Enquiry Desk service opened on Level E of the Hugh Owen Library. This Enquiry Desk is located in front of the main entrance doors on Level E. Staff at the Enquiry Desk welcome your enquiries.
We have been busy relocating some book collections and services in preparation for building work to start on Level D of the library. While we have signs up and around redirecting library users to the new entrance of the library and to relocated book and services inside, if you have any problems at all finding books or need any help, please do not hesitate to ask a member of our staff.
Remember also that you are welcome to contact us via email, phone or online chat for any support or questions about use of library / IT services and resources: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/help/contactus/
Level D of the library has now been emptied of all furniture, ready for the building contractors to start work by the last week in June. This is what Level D looked like on the last day of term (last Saturday)
and this is Level D today, ready for refurbishment to start
A reminder that the Hugh Owen Library Level D refurbishment web page is at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/news/librefurb/
Thank you to all involved in relocating this service up to Level E. We’re looking forward to building work starting.