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As a result of feedback from library users and the obvious need to update an outdated building, Information Services (I.S.) proposed a £2M refurbishment of the Hugh Owen Library over a 4 financial year period, 4 tranches of £500k.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.
Work to move our Library and IT services to E floor began in earnest yesterday.
- Self Issue with Fines Payment Kiosk has been relocated from Level D to the Iris De Freitas Room
- Computers outside the lift on E floor have been removed and will be re-distributed throughout the library. Do check the Computer Availability page to find an available PC.
- Tables outside the lift on E floor have been relocated to the area outside the lift on F floor.
- The IT Service Desk Team are currently relocating up to Level E along with the Library Service Desk Team
A reminder that Level D will close to all at 5:30pm on Monday the 5th of June.
From 8:30am on Tuesday the 6th of June our front line services will be delivered from Level E.
Please enter and exit the library via the Accessibility entrance on E floor (the entrance faces the upper foyer at the south end of the Hugh Owen building – above entrance to the Welsh and Celtic Studies department).
A huge thank you to our Portering staff who have worked very hard moving furniture around the library. Thanks also to our Workshop colleagues who have been busy moving PC’s around.
More moving and shaking next Monday and Tuesday and I’ll aim to update you all again soon.
Temporary desk layout on E floor.
Relocated Self-Issue with Fine Payment machine.
I’m delighted to share the (almost!) final version of the new Level D layout.
Level D Floor Plan 2017
We are still tweaking the floor guide a little more but this gives you a good idea of the changes that will take place.
A reminder that the building work will
- Relocate the entrance to face the concourse.
- Relocate the enquiry desk.
- Create two new Group Study Rooms.
- Create a Vending Area.
- Create more study and computing space.
- Create gender neutral toilets.
We have been busy selecting colours and fabrics for the furniture. The project team attended a really productive ‘Colour Workshop’ with BOF Furniture in Bridgend.
Below you will find images of the finishes, colours and patterns that our beautiful new Level D will be furnished with.
We are also excited to share some mock up images of what we imagine the space to look like. These images are courtesy of BOF Furniture – Bridgend Office.
The contract for the building work will be awarded imminently and with less than three weeks to go before staff vacate Level D its getting very exciting.
On behalf of the project team, we wish all our students who are sitting summer exams and submitting their assignments and dissertations the very best of luck!
To ensure that we complete this refurbishment project to a high standard, we need to allow a longer time for the works than originally anticipated. It is estimated that the works will take until December 2017. We are hopeful that work will begin as planned in June but until the contractors are appointed we will not be able to confirm exact timescales.
We are working on plans to ensure the impact to our customers and staff is minimal during this period, including ensuring availability of all current services, study and computer spaces, but inevitably there will be some disruption, for which we apologise in advance. For the duration of the building works, Library and IT Enquiry Desks and services will be located on Level E of the Hugh Owen library.
In the coming days I will be sharing the final architects drawing of the new layout and will also be giving you an idea of the kind of furniture we are hoping to put in on Level D.
In the meantime I hope you all have an enjoyable vacation.
This Friday we are having a feedback meeting with students who may have mobility issues or who may have learning differences. The project team is really keen to hear what you have to say about the proposed new layout; you may be able to highlight an issue that we haven’t yet thought of. We will be looking at the layout, the proposed colour scheme and some furniture picks. Building regulations do cover the basic mobility issues that will arise but we also want to consider things like sensory and hearing issues. We can only do this with your help.
The meeting will take place at 10am in the Hugh Owen Training room (the little room off the big PC suite on E floor) this Friday morning (the 24th). Users with mobility issues, who have previously arranged access via Student Support, are welcome to use the accessibility entrance on Level E.
If you are a student with a mobility issue or a learning difference please do come along and let us know what you think.
One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that the plans to date are very much based on feedback we have already received (the above image is the Feedback board we used in the library to gather your thoughts via Post-Its). Where ever possible your suggestions have been incorporated and we greatly appreciate the engagement and enthusiasm shown for the project so far.
Although the finer detail is still under discussion some of the high level architectural changes are more firmed up and we are about to approach a major milestone in the project as we will be going out to tender for the building contract at the end of this month. Watch this space!
Hello, I’m Lucy O’Donnell the Project Manager for the Hugh Owen Library Level D Refurbishment and I am blogging on behalf of the Library Refurbishment Team. I have been a librarian in Information Services since 2012 and am an Aberystwyth University graduate.
The aim of this blog is to keep all users of the Hugh Owen library informed of the refurbishment plans and to seek your involvement and opinions on the project.
Here you will find the latest architect’s plan for the refurbishment (image is courtesy of Pensaernïaeth DarntonB3 Architecture) Hugh Owen Level D Option G – Architect Design
Please be aware that these plans are currently in draft form. If you have any feedback on the project you are welcome to leave a comment or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The web page with further information can be found here:
We aim to blog each week to keep you informed of how the work is progressing.