Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sydney Jones Library Study Space Development

Refurbishment work in the Grove Wing is progressing well.

The book move is complete and furniture for the 280 new study spaces is being delivered.  Work to ensure that new desks have their own power supply is also underway.  On the 18th August materials moved off site for the duration of the project will be returned to ensure they are accessible in time for Welcome week.

Library staff have been busy running the retrieval service for staff and students.  We have retrieved over 2000 items for students and staff and processed 93 inter-library loan requests.

A full update on the refurbishment with photographs and details of its progress can be found on the SJL refurbishment webpage.


Sean Kearns, Latin American Masters student said...

With respect it's very surprising to see the library give themselves a pat on the back for the unmitigated shambles of the summer refurbishment transistion,all without a single complaint from staff or students? Stop congratulating yourselves and think about a suitable apology.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps to avoid bias the number of requests that the library failed to fulfil and how many complaints were received could also be posted?

Anonymous said...

Somewhat difficult to accept that to-date not one negative comment has been posted on the library website regarding this shambolic transition.

Sarah Roughley said...

Many thanks indeed for your comments. All comments made to the website regarding the refurbishment of the Sydney Jones Library are now live and will remain so throughout the rest of the project. We take all of our users view very seriously indeed.

Unfortunately, to carry out a project of this size, there must be some temporary impact on our services. Inevitably, this is the case regardless of how much we have tried to minimise the impact of the project on staff and students during the refurbishment period.

The refurbishment is taking place because, quite frankly, the number of study spaces available in the library has become inadequate in recent years. We have received constant feedback in very large numbers via the National Student Survey, and many other library and course surveys, that there simply aren’t enough study spaces available.

Indeed, the results of a recent ‘Barriers to Education’ survey carried out by the Guild of Students’ found that 198 students (out of 469 respondents) highlighted the lack of available study space in the library as their number one issue in getting the most out of their degree. More students cited this than any other issue facing them. The work in both libraries over the summer is to address this persistent complaint from a very high number of our users.

By putting in rolling stack shelving on the ground floor of the Grove Wing and creating an additional 281 study spaces on floors one and two, we are ensuring that we can support the needs of our very broad academic community. By the end of the SJL refurbishment, there should be sufficient study spaces while we will not have withdrawn any books from the library.

When we got the agreement for the project to go ahead, we worked immediately with the contractors to find a way of maintaining an operating library service, whilst enabling the contractors to do the work necessary. The book delivery service has been our way to achieve this.

Although we have retrieved by far the majority of books requested, there has been a number we have been unable to retrieve. At present that figure is around 500. We then offer a free Inter Library Loan to the requestor, so far we have supplied 231 books via Inter Library Loan. It must be noted that not everyone requests an ILL for a non-retrieved book.

We update the Sydney Jones Refurbishment web pages solely to ensure that people are aware of the progress of the refurbishment, by including photographs and data relating to its progress. We will continue to do that.

Special Collections & Archives continues to remain open and will be available to users throughout the refurbishment period.

If any of you would like to discuss this further, I would be very happy to meet with you.

Andrew Barker
Head of Academic Liaison and Special Collections

Sean Kearns, Latin American Masters Student said...

In response: I would point out the poorly publicised reduced library service is unfit for purpose for many current library users,for example Masters Students with prescribed dissertation deadlines.
This is compounded by the pragmatic joint faculty decision to refuse to consider any dissertation extension requests citing the reduced library service as a reason. The student community needs to be equally as pragmatic by instigating a formal complaint and then take the matter up externally (nice to see comments have finally been enabled albeit in August).