We are open!

Hello everyone,

Following on from a successful launch we are delighted to see the newly refurbished Hugh Owen Library Level D in full use. Our Group Study Rooms are busy and the library floor is full of students revising hard for their exams.

The space was officially reopened by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure on Monday January the 8th. You can read about the launch here.

We have an album of photos of the new space on Flickr.

Please continue to give us your feedback on your new space. Post on our feedback wall on Level D of the library or email tellusnow-is@aber.ac.uk.

Thank you to everyone who fed their ideas into the design of the new space. We believe you can see that your feedback and ideas impacted upon the refurbishment.

On behalf of the staff in Information Services, we wish all our students who are sitting exams the very best of luck.

Benefits of the Refurbishment

Hello again!

You may have noticed a flurry of activity out the back of the Hugh Owen building this week. We have taken delivery of the furniture and the newly refurbished space is really beginning to take shape.

As we come closer to our launch date (Wednesday the 3rd of January) a reminder of the benefits of the refurbishment:
We will be increasing user space from:

  • 21 Computer Study Spaces
  • 24 Group Study Spaces
  • 21 Flexible/relaxed seating spaces
  • To:

  • 22 Computer Study Spaces (including height adjustable desk for wheelchair users)
  • 76 Group Study Spaces
  • 26 Flexible / relaxed seating
  • This is an 88% increase in study spaces for you on Level D.

    We have re-purposed back office spaces and stores to create:

  • A vending area for you to enjoy hot and cold drinks and cold snacks. This space will also be complimented with a vending machine for supplies of stationery.
  • Brand new gender neutral facilities on Level D.
  • Brand new disabled facilities, which in addition to the work the University has undertaken on the Piazza now makes Level D far more accessible.
  • Two new Group Study Rooms for up to six users and includes high spec PCs and large screen monitors.
  • We have improved ventilation, heating and lighting replacing dated systems with more energy-efficient modern systems, which saves both money and the environment as well as creating a more pleasant working environment for both students and the staff who work on Level D.

    A reminder that we re-open Level D again on Wednesday January 3rd at 8:30am.. We hope to see you then and look forward to hearing your feedback on this space.

    Progress Report 2


    We are currently in week 10 of building works.

    In our meeting last week with the contractors, RL Davies it was confirmed that:
    • Mechanical and Electrical isolation/strip out is 100% complete.
    • Plumbing and Mechanical 1st fix is in progress.
    • Internal partitions are all boarded on one side.
    • Entrance lobby substructure has been completed. Components have been removed to create space for our new entrance. (A reminder that the entrance will be relocated to face onto the concourse)
    • Our suspended ceiling grid is due to be installed next week.
    • Work continues on the ventilation system. This new ventilation system will result in a more pleasant working environment for staff and students on Level D.

    View from old entrance facing new Refreshment Area – Before

    View from old entrance facing new Refreshment Area – Currently

    The main thing we are working on this week with our electricians and mechanical engineers, is the position of our new furniture. Following on from regular student feedback, we are endeavoring to ensure we have as many plug and USB points as is reasonable in our new space to enable you to charge your devices.

    View from old entrance – Before
    View from old entrance. Door on left of photo leads to stairs. Current view.

    Location of new entrance – before

    New entrance being build on left side of photo. Current view

    We have also had very successful meetings with our colleagues in the Design Studio. Again, following on from student feedback, we are hoping to have some very beautiful murals and wallpaper in our new look Level D.

    (Welsh translation to follow)

    Progress Update

    We are in week 6 of building works:

    Last week, at our regular catch up with our contractors RL Davies the following progress was reported:
    • Set up and enabling works are completed.
    • The contractors are at the end of the soft strip out and demolition phase.
    • The electrical strip out has begun and the first fix is underway.
    • The mechanical strip out is due to begin imminently.
    • A new mains board has been installed.
    We also discussed things like door locks, ceiling tiles and carpet tiles.

    This week there will be work happening on the air handling unit and the plumbing system.

    We are hoping to have more photos of the progress up soon.

    Work Begins!

    Work on the project has begun and our contractors RL Davies are in the middle of the demolition phase of the building work. It’s really exciting to see progress being made. Hoarding has gone up around the site and we have got some information posters up to ensure everyone knows what’s going on behind the barrier.

    We have also set up a display outside the temporary entrance to the library. This details the full layout of the refurbished space and also illustrates some of the furniture, colours and patterns that we will see when the work is complete.

    The demolition is the noisiest stage of the project and our contractors expect it to only last another three days or so; they are also working into the evenings to minimize noise during office hours.
    We appreciate that there has been noise disturbance during this phase and we thank everyone for their understanding and patience while we carry out these essential works.

    Here are some images of the ongoing strip out.

    Myself and Julie Hart, our Head Librarian and Project Executive, sporting very fashionable safety gear, on our way down to visit our contractors.

    Finding the entrance to the Hugh Owen Library

    Hello everyone,

    To help our users find the entrance to the Hugh Owen library during the refurbishment Ellie Downes, our wonderful library assistant, has made some videos which show exactly how to find us.

    How to find the Hugh Owen Library entrance from the direction of Rosser/Parry-Williams (TFTV Dept.) direction:

    How to find the Hugh Owen Library entrance from the Piazza

    Library Refurbishment project and the Environment

    Information Services has a history of supporting ‘Green’ activities and considering the environmental impact of all our activities. Last summer, we were awarded the Gold Standard Award under the Green Impact Programme.

    To continue our sustainable practice during service relocation and the emptying of Level D we have:

    • Retained glass from Level D to be reused in the new layout.
    • Repurposed some unwanted furniture and given it a new lease of life (photos below are of old drawers which have been given a makeover)
    • Donated any unwanted crockery from the staff lounge to Craft to be reused.
    • Installed a Hydrachill machine – this allows us to refill our water bottles and thus reduce the need to purchase bottled water.
    • Retained Wireless Access Points and our CCTV equipment to be reused.
    • Relocated furniture / shelving across our libraries.
    • Recycled all redundant electrical/IT equipment.
    • Retained door motors to reuse in the new build.

    Wherever possible we have endeavored to ensure all our actions have a minimal impact on the environment.

    Relocation of Service


    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.

    Final layout, colour and fabric choices

    Hello everyone,
    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!

    Project Timeline Extended

    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.