Exciting to see how plans for the refurbishment of the Iris de Freitas room on Level E of the Hugh Owen Library are progressing. The architect has provided us with a “fly-though” 3-D representation of the refurbishment so far: https://youtu.be/-Uosb6VwfJA (by kind permission of George and Tomos architects) and come and visit the library to see a display of the plans in more detail.
To prepare for refurbishment work on the Iris de Freitas and Hermann Ethe rooms on Level E of the Hugh Owen Library during summer/autumn 2019, this area will now be closed to users from 13:00 on Wednesday 29th May after the final exam has taken place. We expect to re-open the space on the 4th November 2019. More information is available at https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/news/librefurb/
Welcome to new students and welcome back to returning students who may be suprised to find that the original library entrance on Level D is not open and that there is a temporary entrance to the Hugh Owen Library via Level E. This is due to building work taking place over summer and continuing through this first term to refurbish Level D. A reminder of why the Hugh Owen Library Level D is being refurbished.
To help you all find your way into the Library until Level D reopens in January 2018 please see:
How to find the Hugh Owen Library entrance from the direction of Rosser/Parry-Williams (TFTV Dept.) direction: https://youtu.be/5_Emw7sYVxQ
How to find the Hugh Owen Library entrance from the Piazza: https://youtu.be/ZeMt3MtchGY
Refurbished Level D is really starting to take shape with old office walls having been removed and new walls up and plastered, making new areas. The photos below have been taken just before the start of term, and show the new group study spaces, new Enquiry Desk area and the space leading down towards the stairs up to Level E of the library. We are very excited to see so much progress and look forward to new furniture arriving in November and seeing the space in full use in January 2018.
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.