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SCONUL Library Design Award

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Presentation delivered during a visit by SCONUL Library Design Awards panel. …

Presentation delivered during a visit by SCONUL Library Design Awards panel.
University of York
10th July 2013

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • Photo © John Houlihan
  • Transcript

    • 1. SCONUL Design Award University of York 10th July 2013
    • 2. “What I want is a library which is alive, and which is seen to be alive” Harry Fairhurst, Founding University Librarian, University of York
    • 3. Summary • University Context • History, drivers, opportunities • Vision • Project delivery • Measurement & outcomes • Panel initial questions & requirements
    • 4. • Founded 1963; 50th this year • 1st UK under 50; UK top 15; RAE 8th; World 103rd; Russell Group; WUN • 15,265 students • >30 departments in humanities, social sciences, science • Campus growth – Heslington East • City and Region • White Rose partnership The University
    • 5. York distinctiveness • University Plan – Excellence – Internationalisation – Inclusivity – Sustainability • Teaching and research in balance, mutual and strong • A Campus based community and Collegiate • Collaborative and consensual
    • 6. • > 1m items • >120 staff • Archives extensive & unique • Developing digital library expertise • SCONUL, RLUK, & international groups • Now part of a broader Information Directorate The University Library
    • 7. Borthwick & Burton • Borthwick Institute for Archives founded in 1952 as a forerunner of the University • Raymond Burton Library for Humanities Research opened in 2003 • Archives moves from its city centre location to an extension to the Raymond Burton Library in 2005 and incorporated as Library & Archives
    • 8. Branch Libraries & beyond • York Minster: the oldest and largest Cathedral Library in the country – Operated under a unique partnership between the Dean & Chapter and the University of York • King’s Manor Library – Both Grade One listed locations • Associations with – The Railway Museum – Yorkshire Country House partnership – York Museums Trust
    • 9. JB Morrell Library • 1960's Library building • Designed in collaboration with University's first Librarian, Harry Fairhurst – few barriers between stock and users – large open areas that could be altered as necessary – teaching accommodation – group studies – cafe • One major extension to North of building: 1986- 1987
    • 10. 1967
    • 11. Initial drivers & opportunities • Asbestos removal from JBM Library • Move of adjacent Computer Science academic department to Heslington East, releasing a further refurbishment opportunity • Joined up approach to Information provision as expressed in the 2008 Information Strategy
    • 12. Pilot innovation?
    • 13. Specific drivers • Building integrity • Upgrade to lighting, heating and ventilation essential • Tired facilities • Improved zoning required • Need for bookable group & individual study space • Pressure on collection space • Increased emphasis on self service • Additional IT including use of personal devices
    • 14. Methods • Consultation with users and staff • Data on space utilisation & future needs • Pedagogic change, inc PBL • Review of survey and comment data • International survey of best practice • Advice from Estates and contractors • Formal strategic project framework and governance
    • 15. LibQUAL+ results 2008
    • 16. The Vision
    • 17. Vision components 28 Nov 2008 • A research Library environment for deep study including archives • A working Library for students and staff – Better group and individual space • A ‘Commons’ type building – Multimedia provision (focused on Music & TFTV) – Interactive space (and with a range of staff) – Technology rich varieties of space (including PGRs)
    • 18. Design principles • Respecting the integrity of the original design of the JB Morrell Library • Common palette of finishes • Buildings distinguished by use of colour in furniture • Power throughout • Wireless throughout • Zoning • Wide range of study facilities • Longevity of furniture solutions • Design shifted as the Computer Science building was added to the plans
    • 19. Project detail • J B Morrell tender won by Shepherd Construction Ltd in Summer 2009 o Building work January 2010 until 24 February 2012 o Move of 95% of Library staff to portakabins August 2010 • Customer Services & Archives staff remained in building o Construction work took place over 6 phases o Four floors; ground, first, second and third (also included roof refurbishment) o Library stayed open throughout o Work took place on one floor/part of a floor at a time o Overnight working when necessary o Large scale book moves throughout to accommodate the closing/re-opening of floors • Computer Science building tender won by Shepherd Construction Ltd in Summer 2010 o Building work October 2010 until 16 April 2011 o Three floors; ground, first and second (also included roof refurbishment) o Shorter timescale as contractor had full control of building
    • 20. Issues • Maintaining a fully operational Library throughout the work • Noise (from building work and the sub-contractors themselves) • Loss of study space • General communication between Library staff as on split sites • Customer and Contractor expectations • Move of some lesser used stock to external closed storage • Renovating a building which had sparse records about infrastructure
    • 21. Opportunities realised • Fairhurst building gave us the chance to offer innovative study spaces not seen before at York, and separated from the Morrell • Opened up and improved networks with other departments in the University • Library Cafe (additional £500k) • Enabled 24/7 opening • External cleaning of facade • Putting the Library back on the map, and at the heart (“3rd place”)
    • 22. Measurement
    • 23. LibQUAL+ 2009-2010 2009 2010
    • 24. LibQUAL+ 2011-2012 2011 2012
    • 25. Results 2012: Overall
    • 26. Library Survey Comments “There is hardly room for improvement after the refurbishment. The extra space and staff are ideally suited to a wide range of needs.” Female UG
    • 27. Library Survey Comments “The library is a haven for study for me. If I need to focus on my work away from any distractions then the library is where I go.” Male UG
    • 28. Library Survey Comments “…Please put CS [Computer Science] texts on a lower floor, replace with a subject that has a more physically fit cohort!” Male UG Note: Computer Science books are currently housed on the 3rd Floor
    • 29. Library As Place vs Consortium Partners
    • 30. International comparison study • Joint initiative with the U of Wyoming to: – Draw on the sabbatical of a senior staff member – Replicate the study across both institutions – Focus on value and/or impact around • New building use • Help and advice • Discovery • Mobile use • Information literacy
    • 31. “Love the new Harry Fairhurst Building” “Despite building disruption, staff have always done a good job and library information has improved over the past couple of years” “…I really like the new Harry Fairhurst Building…a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere…thank you!”
    • 32. Transformation? “Love the environment in the new building, especially some places really … feel comfortable “ LibQUAL+ Comment 2011
    • 33. Competing values in learning? “The new Harry Fairhurst building is great but I really don't think sofas and beanbags are conducive to effective studying! It's fun to see people lying sprawled all over the floor though.” LibQUAL+ Comment 2011
    • 34. Other benefits • Green – Building design & return to original green ventilation – Thin clients and green IT – York Print Plus – £20m+ against £50m+ new build • Process – Shelving & flexible loans – 24/7 – LEAN – Enquiries convergence – Information convergence • Social – Social capital through enhanced collaboration – Joined up resource approach – Donor investment
    • 35. Brand reinforcement • Follow through in the building of web and print identities • Revelation of the hidden special and unique – Room names links – Room name signs • Values externalisation – Customer focus/scholarship/respect
    • 36. Lessons learnt • Signage review after experience • Good idea to leave (white) space • Good idea to trust students • Good idea to front load detailed planning • Good idea to go back for more, even when you are told this is not the York approach • Bad idea to compromise on vision or quality • Design and build does not always work
    • 37. The outcome? “It really makes me want to learn” Student Comment 2011
    • 38. “Just a quick note to say how awesome the facilities are here. I have been to 3 Universities in 2 different countries and this is definitely the best. The resources, study spaces, facilities and staff are all excellent. The library alone is enough of a reason to consider studying here. Thank you very much” Postgraduate student, University of York

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