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Evolution and transformation: spaces, services and staircases


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Singapore Management University’s Li Ka Shing Library was designed in 2002 and built prior to 2005. It was officially opened in 2006 as part of a brand new university in the city with the two Singapore cultural icons on each side, the Singapore Art Museum and the Singapore National Museum overlooking the Campus Green with its heritage trees. The six storey building houses the library that occupies four storeys, with levels one and two housing various businesses, cafes and restaurants and other campus facilities. The growth in student numbers coupled with the changing needs and expectations of today’s student population and the outdated design features have prompted the library and the university management to begin a master planning exercise. The scope of the master planning process and the journey itself presented both expected and unexpected outcomes in terms of raising awareness of space use, realignment of library operations, user involvement, service re-design, multi-purpose spaces usable by a variety of user groups, commercial use of spaces, fund raising, and political and strategic alliances across the university

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Evolution and transformation: spaces, services and staircases

  1. 1. Evolution and transformation: spaces, services and staircases Gulcin Cribb University Librarian Singapore Management University Our Passion, Our Commitment, Your Advantage
  2. 2. Agenda • Singapore Management University (SMU) and Li Ka Shing Library – case study • Why Master Planning? • Challenges and the Journey
  3. 3. SMU Chronology • 1997 Singapore government conceives SMU • 2000 SMU opens to 300 students in Bukit Timah Campus • 2000 – 2002 Library designed for 6000 students (Edward Cullinan Architects) • 2005 Library opens its doors (2500 students) • 2006 Library official opening as Li Ka Shing Library • 2013 SMU – 8,000 students (ug and pg)
  4. 4. Singapore Management University (SMU) • 6 Schools – Business, Economics, Accounting, Information Systems, Law, Social Sciences • Broad based education, small classes, interactive tutorial style learning • International experience, community service, internship • Active participation in university-wide extra curricular activities • 6 buildings at the heart of Singapore
  5. 5. “The University for the World of Business and Management” Focus on Business, Finance, Economics, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Information Systems (computational social science and analytics) and Law High level of collaboration with the business world at local and international levels, e.g. India and China Joint activities with Wharton Business School and Carnegie Mellon
  6. 6. SMU Libraries – Li Ka Shing Library • • • • • • • 8,000 sqm, 1,500 seats, 34 project rooms 39 staff – 16 professional librarians 137,000 books (Over 86,000 e-books) Access to about 80,000 e-journals Nearly 1 million visitors in FY2012 Open - 96 hpw during term time Madam Kwa Geok Choo Law Library - 2016
  7. 7. Singapore National Museum Singapore Art Museum
  8. 8. Campus Green
  9. 9. Vision To be a leading research library providing ubiquitous access to information using innovative strategies to drive intellectual exchange and the creation of knowledge.
  10. 10. Initial Vision for Master Planning To create a dynamic, flexible, unique, innovative, efficient library/learning space for SMU community
  11. 11. Experience “Customers don’t want products or services, they want experiences” Steve Jobs The best organizations provide as many of the 4 e’s as possible Entertainment Education Escapism Esthetics
  12. 12. Why Master Planning? • Holistic view of the building and spaces • Not piecemeal solutions • Strategic approach to the needs of the university as a whole • Plan big and implement small
  13. 13. Objectives • More flexible, multi-purpose and multi-use spaces in the Library and the rest of the building, e.g. Level 1 and Basement. • More functional, effective and conducive study spaces in the Library, i.e. reflective, interactive, collaborative. • A separate 24/7 study area with its own air conditioning. • More prominent and welcoming entrance to the Library. • A variety of event/function spaces
  14. 14. Objectives • Increase seating and the variety of seating • Minimise/eliminate any ‘dead’/unusable spaces • Make the most of the Campus Green, integrate the Library with the Campus Green spaces • Synchronise the Li Ka Shing Library master planning with the Madam Kwa Geok Choo library planning. • Combine service points in order to provide a more seamless and integrated service. • Bring all library staff together in one area
  15. 15. Challenges • • • • • • • • • Not enough study spaces and lack of variety Quiet and collaborative spaces Increased numbers of students Need for a 24/7 study area Staff distributed over four floors Too many service points Entrance and way-finding confusing Inefficient space use, traffic flow Spaces for student needs and university events – conflicts?
  16. 16. Changing Times Volumes Original assumptions and plan (2002) 309,353 volumes including 16,000 current journals, 3,144 recent back runs and 124,360 bound volumes plus 7,200 CD-ROMs, 1,950 AV items Seating 1,280 including 36 group rooms Number of computers 166 2013 – current situation 50,000 (we intend to keep the numbers low; law collection will be housed in the Law library); e-book collection : 83,000 titles e-journal collection: 72,000 titles 1,500, including 34 project rooms 45 (we intend to keep computer numbers low as all students own at least one device and prefer using their own computers; some of the computers are needed to access special finance eresources, e.g. Bloomberg, Capital IQ etc.
  17. 17. Levels • Level 5 – Quiet study areas, group study rooms, Postgraduate Suite, Learning Lab, meeting room, staff offices • Level 4 – Quiet study areas, group study rooms, collaboration spaces, collections, printing room, staff work room • Level 3 - Collaboration spaces, group study rooms, collections, quiet study areas, printing room, staff offices, Information Desk • Level 2 – Collaborative Study Area, quiet study areas, group study rooms, printing room, lifestyle and media collections, reserve collection, services desk, café, entrance • Level 1 - Cafes, SMU Shop, open spaces, benches • Basement – Student activity areas, leading to the MRT, Food Court, commercial entities, open courtyard
  18. 18. LibQual comments • The entire atmosphere at the library - feels too cramped and crowded with people for it to be a place for reflection or creativity • There isn’t enough space for quiet study • If zones for group work and individual were more clearly demarcated, students will know where the appropriate place to go
  19. 19. LibQual comments • The service has been top notch for years. The librarians go out of their way to be helpful. (Faculty) • I believe that SMU has a leading library team that understands and cares for the needs of every individual student. The library team has played an integral role in my academic pursuits thus far. • I like how the librarians are always eager to assist me whenever I approach them with questions. The library training I received in class is also very useful.
  20. 20. SILENCE Absolute silence zones. Why would you even allow ‘quiet’ when it should be silent. Please do not have a conversation friendly space IN A LIBRARY. Quiet Places with VIEW (of greenery) and table Sometimes, the collaborative learning space is noisy. The library should put a watch on students who can’t keep their noise level down. I wish the silent rule was more actively enforced. Whispering is alright, but people have loud conversations and phone calls/webcamming in the library and it’s highly distracting. Don’t need conversation-friendly space, library isn’t a place to talk….. Keep the café silent as well People shouldn’t even be talking in the library, it’s a library!!!!!!! Silent zone Please remove the sounds of lifts when it goes up and down. It makes many spaces near it unconducive for studying.
  21. 21. “Libraries were places of silence with pockets of group work and activity. In the 21st century university, they are becoming places of learning activity with pockets of silence.“ The Guardian Higher Education Network, 6 August 2013
  22. 22. Journey • Student involvement, engagement and excitement • New way of thinking about leased spaces • Single desk feasibility study • Review of existing collections, collection planning and management • Planning for the new Law Library
  23. 23. Madam Kwa Geok Choo Law Library • Madam Kwa Geok Choo Law Library
  24. 24. “Students are undoubtedly affected by inspirational university buildings and libraries in particular have a great influence on the reputation of the university and the ability of the university to attract prospective students.” The Guardian Higher Education Network, 6 August 2013
  25. 25. “The library is a place that has no agenda other than allowing people to invent their own agendas” Fintan O’Toole
  26. 26. Acknowledgments • Tamagin Blake-Smith Senior Interior Designer, Hassell Architects • Devika Sangaram, Administration & Operations Manager, SMU • Photographs by Prof Winston Koh and Hong Huazheng and Devika Sangaram • Office of Campus Development, SMU • Ruth Pagell, Founding University Librarian, SMU