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Cardiff library's success in national awards

9 December 2010

Image of the refurbished Trevithick Library.

Cardiff University's Trevithick Library has won the 'smaller buildings' category in the prestigious SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) Library Design Awards.

The Awards recognise the best new or refurbished Higher Education libraries in national and university institutions, and contribute to the continuing improvements in the standards of library design and functionality.

The Trevithick Library, which serves Cardiff University's Schools of Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics, and Physics and Astronomy, was re-opened in January 2009 following extensive redesign and renovation to enhance the student experience. The library features key elements which offer increased flexibility, including self-service book issue and 24-hour book return, open study spaces and group study rooms.

The library's refurbishment has proved very popular with its users, with around a 20% increase in visits, and an additional 3,000 book issues in the year following the refurbishment.

Photograph of SCONUL Library Design Awards presentation.

Pictured at the SCONUL Library Design Awards presentation are: Ruth Thornton, Trevithick Site Librarian; Amanda Heal, Architect, Design Research Unit Wales; and Janet Peters, University Librarian.

The Trevithick Library fought off competitors from 17 other libraries around the UK to be named one of the two winners. It won the award in the category for developments under 3,000 square metres.

Janet Peters, University Librarian, said: "We are very proud to be recognised in such a prestigious award. The developments in the Trevithick Library really illustrate Information Services' and the University's vision for the libraries of the future, evolving to meet the changing study habits and needs of our student, researcher and staff users. The awards are deliberately made some time after the libraries have opened to allow the impact of the development to be noted. The positive comments made by students and sponsors, and the increased usage of the library, have contributed to this success.

"This is Cardiff's second success in the SCONUL Design Awards, as our Arts and Social Studies Library was recognised in the awards in 1978.

"The successful, award-winning refurbishment of the Trevithick Library has only been possible due to the co-operation and team work between Information Services, the Design Research Unit Wales, the Development and Alumni Relations Office, Estates and the Schools of Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics, and Physics and Astronomy," continued Janet.

Image of the Trevithick library computer bar

The judges highlighted the success of the work on the Trevithick Library in their comments: "Despite its small size, it has clever use of space, with zoning, and retains the possibility of flexibility for the future. The lighting, environment and furniture are exemplary. An innovative approach was taken to funding, seeking sponsorship from the companies with links to the academic departments. The Library demonstrates what can be achieved with a small budget and big ambitions."



Further information and details of the award winner for larger libraries, together with the 'highly commended' developments are available on the SCONUL website