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Improving the Library Social Learning Spaces

During June and July we’re going to be refurbishing the ground floor of the Library.

A number of significant improvements are planned, but making these a reality will require all of the ground floor, including the Library entrance and café, to be closed for the duration of the works.

To ensure that students and staff are able to continue to access all the Library’s facilities, a new temporary entrance will be set up at the side of the building, opposite the Amazon Lockers.

At the end of July, when work is completed, we will have a wonderful new collaborative and flexible space on the ground floor that is full of life.

Improvements will include an events space allowing departments to collaborate with the Library on events and increasing the visibility of our Special Collections. A maker space will be created to encourage student creativity. There will be booths with screens for more private work and group study spaces with flexible furniture.

 

Why are we making these improvements?

Goldsmiths’ Library is open 24 hours a day. Only closing for Christmas and New Year, it’s seen as a ‘go to’ space where all students and staff can access services and resources.

Ensuring the Library is an attractive, welcoming physical learning environment that supports the way people learn is a key element of university life.

It needs to be able to support a range of online and offline activities that reflect the way students want to and are asked to learn.

Students are increasingly working together on projects. One of the aims of this refurbishment is to create flexibility and blended learning spaces that allow collaboration and exploration to happen while also motivating and inspiring students and being adaptable to changing needs.

 

Acting on student and staff feedback

We continually listen to student and staff feedback and use this to respond to student behaviours and needs, and adapt our spaces and services where possible.

Some of the different sources of feedback that we’re using to feed into the project are:

  • User experience (UX) activities
    • Library staff carry out a variety of UX activities throughout the year to look at how the library spaces are actually being used by people
    • Library Services collaborated with the Anthropology Department, MA Anthropology, to observe student activity and use of the library spaces in 2017
  • Student Feedback
    • Student Library Reps (including reports from SLRs and focus groups)
    • Departmental Representative Annual Reports (Campus Space 2018 and Student Communities 2019)
    • PGT student experience survey
    • PGR student experience survey
    • NSS comments
    • Complaints, compliments and comments (received through email, LibChat and staff feedback)
  • Departmental feedback
    • Our Subject team works closely with departments on aligning library resources with the needs of the departments and their students.
    • The Library User Group (LUG) is made up of academic representatives and students from each department. It meets termly to discuss Library development in line with their needs.
  • External factors
    • Library Services commissioned an external consultant to audit and comment on the physical spaces at the Library with representatives from across the student body.
    • We have visited exemplar libraries and looked at current trends in library and learning design to inform the refurbishment.
  • Library Statistics

 

Where are we now?

Right now we’re in the middle of appointing contractors to work on the ceiling, electrics and lighting over the summer.

We have already appointed CDEC to install the different technology we need, and BOF to work with us on the furniture.

Before Easter a group of us visited furniture studios in Clerkenwell to test some of the different furniture and help us refine what we’re going to be using in the spaces.

Benefits

When work is finished at the end of July, we will have flexible, technology rich social study space designed with student needs in mind and student experience at its heart.

It will be a focal point for study, events and student life that will give people space to think, explore and collaborate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The newly refurbished space will feature:

  • An events space
    • providing an opportunity for academics and PGRs to share research publically, building on the success of our Research Cafes
    • giving students the opportunity for learning outside their course
    • giving departments the chance to collaborate with the library on events, such as the International Games week
    • increasing the visibility of and access to our special collections and archives
  • A maker space
    • providing open to all, 24/7 access to a variety of equipment
    • encouraging creativity
  • Booth spaces with screens
    • providing a discreet place to work on presentations
  • Sofa areas
    • allowing relaxed conversation and comfortable coffee breaks
  • Flexible furniture
    • enabling people to configure the spaces to meet their own learning needs
    • enabling us to trial different teaching and learning activities
  • Group study tables
    • allowing different sized groups to work together
  • An interactive installation by Random Quark
    • encouraging playfulness
    • enabling library users to engage with the space and reflect on their emotional wellbeing

Alongside the fully refurbished ground floor, improvements will be made throughout the building that will positively impact on the student experience.

These will include powered doors to our Assistive Technology Centre, proximity readers and new access gates at the front of the building, plugs in the first floor silent study rooms and the post graduate room on the second floor, a new exhibition space and improved furniture in the Prokofiev room.

The provision of Library Services is not, of course, exclusively down to the physical building, furniture and equipment. It is enhanced and created by excellent resources, workshops, events, teaching, staff support, professionalism, technical expertise and people.

We will continue to deliver and build on successful initiatives and activities that happen in the Library, such as our Academic Skills Drop in sessions, Research Cafes, Workshops, Ask a PAL sessions, Art space sessions and one to one tutorials and be open to new ideas, working with you to co-create a collaborative environment.

The next few weeks may be a little disruptive but we will have much improved facilities as a result and will be able to deliver an even better student experience

We’ll keep you posted!

Feedback – Staplers

“Would be great to also have a stapler on the 1st floor, where the computers are. Thnx”

We have staplers available for use at the Help Desk on the Ground Floor. During the academic year, they are replaced when they go missing. During the academic year 2011/2012 we replaced over 100 staplers. Due to the amount that go missing from a staffed area, we are not able to provide staplers on the 1st Floor.

(11th September 2012)