The controversial topic of library redevelopment has been discussed by both students and the University for several years now. The majority of complaints focus on the limited collection and lack of sufficient books, queuing for a computer, limited desk space, and an unpleasant and uninviting studying environment.
Many students and staff were disappointed with the recent postponement of the £46 million plan for library refurbishment, which was due to begin in 2012, due to the global financial climate. The strong response from the student body, with hundreds emailing the Principal in protest, illustrated how important the library is. However, the recent approval by University Court of an interim redevelopment project; to the tune of £14 million; means that we can achieve concrete change now whilst still maintaining our vision of what we would like our library to be in the future.
The Students' Association has two main objectives for the interim project. The first is to ensure it means students' needs by consulting with both you, library staff, and with the new architects. We hope to achieve a balance between expanding the collection and improving the library environment. In the long term, we will make the case that the pursuit of a much more ambitious plan remains in the University's long-term interests. The interim plan's introduction of expanded study space, with 600 new study spaces throughout the town, is clearly a positive measure. However, we also want to make sure that the importance of having a centralised library with study space alongside the collection is recognised and remains a part of the long-term vision.
The Association President and Director of Representation are being consulted on every level as to exactly how the £14m interim project will be spent. Our main priorities include;
> improving lighting, ventilation, heating and interior decoration
> refurbishing the entrance to the building
> introducing group study space and informal social space
> zoning different levels to ensure some areas of silent study and other areas where coffee and snacks can be consumed
> expanding the IT provision with a particular focus on more power sockets for laptops, better printing facilities, and more work stations to minimise queueing
As always, we welcome any comments or suggestions you would like to make concerning the future of the library. Email Sam Fowles, Director of Representation on email@example.com or President Patrick O' Hare on firstname.lastname@example.org
For up-to-date information on how the library redevelopment plans are progressing,