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The Worcester Library and History Centre: a Shared Vision, a Single Community
Roger Fairman, University of Worcester (UK)
The Worcester Library & History Centre (WLHC) is, we believe, a globally unique project. It will bring together five information based services with the aim of providing the people of Worcester and its surrounding region with an integrated facility that will combine the main library of the University of Worcester, the Worcester Central Public Library, The Worcestershire County Record Office, the Worcestershire County Archaeology Service and the Worcester City Customer Service Centre (one-stop-shop for inquiries about local government services).
Apart from the range of services involved, other significant elements of the project include: the high degree of integration; its desire to inspire users through high quality architecture to explore services they have not used before; and its stringent environmental targets. The physical location of the building will allow the design to emphasize links between the University and the City acting as a bridge between the two, reflecting one of the projects core concepts; that all the present and potential users of these services are not one dimensional entities but rather multi-faceted individuals.
By June 2009 the project will be into the build period with a target of the first users walking through the doors in 2011. This paper will describe the design journey undertaken by the project team, illustrating how they & the wider staffs of the five services have, and are, working together to meet the many challenges presented by this exciting vision, and some of the solutions proposed in the final design.
Roger Fairman is in Library Services Development, Information & Learning Services, University of Worcester
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