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Transforming Cardiff University's Libraries

The University Library has seen major developments in its services since the Library Review of 2005:

  • Significant increases in the purchase of electronic information resources, especially eBooks and e-only journal subscriptions
  • Increased online delivery of other key services - for example the 'Ask a Librarian Live' online enquiry service
  • The roll-out of self-service borrowing and return facilities across many of our Library sites
  • Major refurbishment of a number of Libraries to provide enhanced IT facilities, facilities for group and individual study and learning
  • A reduction in the number of Library sites from 18 to 14
  • Extended opening hours in many of our Libraries, including 24/7 opening in the Health Library in the Cochrane Building
  • The growth of the requirement for digital and information literacy skills for staff and students.

Our ambitions for the Library service are to be able to provide a seamless and streamlined service focusing on enhanced support for both students and staff.

A major element of this transformation is the proposed development of a new Library facility on the Cathays campus; consolidating the 11 sites into two or three larger facilities, providing both strategic and operational benefits.  

This would create a prestigious new learning and research environment; with the ability to enhance the University's profile and reputation, attracting the best students and world-class researchers. A multi-disciplinary learning and research environment would directly reflect the University's strategic goals around collaboration and inter-disciplinary research.

Staff and students would benefit from flexibly-designed, purpose-built spaces, encouraging a variety of learning styles alongside quiet study. The Library would also be able to offer longer opening hours across a smaller number of sites, benefiting from economies of scale.  

Examples of similar library developments include the following:

University of Sheffield Information Commons (built 2007)

Leicester University David Wilson Library (built 2009)

Aberdeen University Sir Duncan Rice Library (built 2012)

Manchester University Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (built 2012)

A Task and Finish Group, chaired by Professor Patricia Price, is currently reviewing the business case for a major new building project. We would like hear your views. Please contact us by email at if you have any comments.


Find out about the University Library Service

Read more about the Library Review