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New look for University Library Services

14 September 2009

The University Library Service (ULS) has had a busy summer, with renovations and improvements taking place in four of the Libraries around the University.

The Arts and Social Studies Library (ASSL) has seen changes to its lower ground and top floor, part-funded by the Wolfson Foundation.

On the lower ground floor, Graphic Services has been relocated to the former bindery area, to create three group study / seminar rooms. This has freed space for a new state-of-the-art 'E-Lounge', a wireless-enabled area with casual seating, power sockets for laptops, and open access computers. Also on the lower ground floor of the ASSL, Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) has been extended to provide mobile shelving and allow maximum use of space. Plasma screens will be installed around the building showing digital images of the SCOLAR collection, and there are plans to install a touch screen kiosk with 'turning pages' software to enable users to view old and rare books.

On the top floor of the ASSL, new compact mobile shelving had doubled capacity, allowing the study spaces to be arranged more flexibly.

The Bute Library has been revamped to implement self-service issue, return and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, and the layout at the entrance to the Library has been improved. By interfiling the Bute short loan collection in the main book collection, the entrance area can now accommodate the 'Bute curve' - the new RFID machines with a distinctive semi-circular footprint, and an area of informal seating aimed at laptop usage.

Self-service issue, return and RFID technology has been installed in the Architecture Library, with the entrance and office redesigned to make it a more user friendly space. This latest technology has also been implemented in the Biomedical Sciences Library.

Janet Peters, Director of Libraries and University Librarian, said: "The developments that have taken place in these libraries during the summer have been driven by the wide-ranging Library Review. We are moving towards a 21st Century Library model, where we employ the latest technologies to improve services and save staff time to undertake new roles in supporting the information literacy and IT needs of our users. Where similar changes have already been made (in the Sir Herbert Duthie, Aberconway, Trevithick and Law Libraries) there has been a noticeable difference in the amount of time library staff can spend with our students and staff helping them to locate appropriate information and to support their research."

"The Library Service is uniquely placed to provide high quality information and study environments to the University, and we have a responsibility to ensure that we continue to live up to the changing needs and expectations of the entire University community – students, researchers and staff."

Visit the University Library Service website for more information.