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Exploring Goldsmiths’ Theses Collection

Over the summer, the Online Research Collections team in the Library, along with our cataloguing colleagues Diana Stevenson and Joanna Martin have been working on a project to make all Goldsmiths theses from 2020 to July 2021 available on our institutional repository Goldsmiths Research Online (GRO). Providing access to our theses from the last two years has been delayed due to a variety of factors relating to COVID-19 so it is great to finally make them available.

The PhD theses we hold are a unique record of the academic, intellectual and research culture at Goldsmiths from the 1960s onwards. Our thesis collection is one of our most heavily used digital collections, so now that our most recent theses are accessible online, we thought it would be a good time to provide an overview of our collection and highlight its richness and diversity.

PhD research at Goldsmiths

In the 1960s and 1970s Goldsmiths rapidly expanded its portfolio of courses and started to offer postgraduate studies and research opportunities across the arts and humanities.

The earliest doctorate thesis that we hold is Marie Cecilia Wragg’s The development of emotional and social maturity in boys and girls in certain grammar, comprehensive and modern schools awarded in 1964. Dr Wragg was an educational psychologist and teacher who worked extensively in England and around the world. During her PhD research Dr Wragg clearly made much use of the Library, noting the help of ‘the assistant librarians at Goldsmiths’ College’ in her acknowledgements. While completing her PhD in the 1960s, she worked at Goldsmiths as a senior lecturer in the Education department and as a Hall of Residence Head. Following the completion of her PhD, Dr Wragg travelled widely in India, writing a number of journal articles about her investigations into educational psychology, teacher training and higher education in the country.

It was only in the 1980s that a large volume of theses started to be produced at Goldsmiths, with the Library holding 114 theses from the decade. In the 1990s, 138 theses were produced and in the 2000s the number had risen to 486, with numbers now averaging around 100 theses per year.

Our theses collection

The Library holds over 1,500 bound copies of theses. Our full collection of hard bound theses is available on Library Search. In normal circumstances, all bound theses on the catalogue can be consulted in the Library but due to COVID-19 restrictions this service is currently suspended.

The requirement to submit both an electronic and bound copy of a thesis has been in place at Goldsmiths since 2010, with our electronic thesis collection held on our institutional repository Goldsmiths Research Online (GRO). In addition to that, we have retrospectively digitised theses from earlier years, as a part of the British Library’s EThOS service . Due to COVID-19 adjustments, PhD candidates in 2020-21 have been asked to submit their final thesis in digital format only.

In total, there are over 1,300 theses available in GRO (these are also accessible through Library Search). To browse our full digital collection on GRO just go to the browse menu and select ‘Item Type’ followed by ‘Thesis’. A range of FAQs on accessing digital theses on GRO is available here.

Moving from a collection of hard bound theses held in our store, to a digital collection accessible to anyone in the world with an internet connection has increased the visibility of our thesis collection and reduced barriers to accessing these valuable and unique resources. Providing free, online access also benefits our authors by increasing the reach of their work and the potential that it will be cited, as well as helping to promote their research during the early stages of their academic career.

Highlights from the collection

Our earliest electronic thesis dates back to 1982. Some of our earliest electronic theses from the 1980s include work produced by researchers still associated with Goldsmiths including Alan Pickering, Sophie Day, and Heidi Safia Mirza  , who wrote a short account of her experiences completing a PhD as a single mother in the 1980s which is well worth a read.

Our repository collection covers a huge range of areas and includes creative writing and practice research theses. The collection includes work by a number of former and current Library colleagues, along with theses by notable alumni such as the art historian and broadcaster David Dibosa , the Booker Prize winning author Bernardine Evaristo, the 2021 Turner Prize nominee Daniel Fernandes Pascual , and the joint winner of the Turner Prize in 2019 Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

Theses are amongst the most downloaded items in GRO. Over the past year our most downloaded thesis Valerie Welbanks’ Foundations of Modern Cello Technique; Creating the Basis for a Pedagogical Method has been accessed over 3,320 times. Our next most downloaded thesis, Rosa Crepax’s The Aesthetics of Mainstream Androgyny: A Feminist Analysis of a Fashion Trend has 1,470 downloads, followed by Jennifer May Brand’s From Design to Decline: Boosey & Hawkes and Clarinet Manufacturing in Britain, 1879-1986  with 1,268 downloads.

Our list of the most downloaded theses of all time gives a sense of the diverse range of postgraduate research taking place ate Goldsmiths and emphasises the value to authors of making their thesis open access.

Author Title Downloads
Sandra Gaudenzi The Living Documentary: from representing reality to co-creating reality in digital interactive documentary 16,432
Andrew Sockanathan Digital Desire and Recorded Music: OiNK, Mnemotechnics and the Private BitTorrent Architecture 13,172
Christopher Brauer Netmodern: Interventions in Digital Sociology 12,852
Jacqueline Cooke Art ephemera, aka “Ephemeral traces of ‘alternative space’: the documentation of art events in London 1995-2005, in an art library” 11,351
Fiona Anne Seaton ’They Opened Up a Whole New World’: Feminine Modernity and the Feminine Imagination in Women’s Magazines, 1919-1939 11,335

Statistics collected 16 August 2021

 Further help and resources

If you wish to explore theses produced outside Goldsmiths, our Open Access Libguide includes links to a range of resources that will help you access theses produced in other UK universities and beyond.

As well as providing access to our PhD collection Library Search also includes many theses from other UK universities that are available through the British Library EThOS service.

For further guidance or questions about accessing our thesis collection, please get in touch with the Online Research Collections team at gro@gold.ac.uk

Pieter Sonke, Online Research Collections team

Guidance on making the most of the library’s eBook collection.

I’ve been working in my role as Acquisitions Assistant, at Goldsmiths Library, for 2 years now. Prior to starting this role, I assumed I had a reasonable understanding of what eBooks are, and how they compare to print books and other online resources offered by an academic library.

I soon realised that eBook publishing is complex and getting the most out of the hosting websites’ features, or identifying licensing restrictions, is not always straightforward. I’ve written this blog post and an eBook License Guide to highlight some of the things I’ve discovered.

The role of the eBook has never been as fundamental, to the support of learning and research, as it has been during the pandemic. Though it would be unfair to expect online resources to resolve all the issues that arose from library closures, and limited access to physical collections, there have been significant problems with eBook provision, that ought to be rectified.

One critical issue is the cost of eBooks, which has been well documented over the past year. If you haven’t already, please read and sign the open letter asking the UK Government to investigate the practices of the academic eBook publishing industry. Some publishers have chosen to increase eBook prices during the pandemic, or only offer key texts to libraries as part of expensive subscription packages.

It is clear that most academic libraries prefer to purchase permanent (aka perpetual) licenses for specific eBooks, rather than paying for packages, which may have a few key texts bundled in with less popular or relevant titles. Another inescapable problem is that many titles, particularly those published before the 21st century, have never been available as eBooks, and certain subject areas, such as art and design, offer limited availability for recent publications.

There is still a tremendous amount of content out there, and it is always worth checking the selection of open access eBooks, available free of charge, including the UCL Press collection. Goldsmiths’ students and staff also have access to eBooks via Senate House Library.

The Goldsmiths Library catalogue acts as a gateway to the available eBook collections, but the websites that host eBook content vary greatly in terms of layout, functionality and access restrictions. Some eBooks are laid out like print books, while others are viewed online as a continuous body of text.

You may have more experience of reading eBooks on an eReader, but academic eBooks are not always compatible with these devices. It may be necessary to download specific software and even then access to full eBook downloads are often time limited. More information on using the websites of the library’s main eBook providers, Proquest Ebook Central and VLeBooks can be found on the eBooks Libguide.

The eBooks available via these 2 providers, alongside EBSCO eBooks, will typically have some Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions, that may limit the number of users that can access a book at the same time, limit the loan length of a full download, or the percentage of the book that can be printed or copied.

Other websites, particularly those hosting content from university press publishers, offer fewer restrictions, and it is often possible to download the full eBook, in PDF format, to keep permanently. An excellent example of this is the Duke University Press collection, for which Goldsmiths Library offers access to all titles.

For reading list materials, it is always worth planning ahead as some eBooks, like their print siblings, will have limited availability at the times when they are most needed by other students on your course. Digitised versions of essential chapters may be available to download via the module’s online reading list. If your reading list specifies a chapter or section to read, it is also advisable to check if that part of the eBook can be downloaded, as a PDF, using the copy or print features on the hosting website.

For guidance on identifying the type of eBook license the library provides, and the restrictions of use, an eBook License Guide is now available on the library webpages. It can be a confusing and at times frustrating topic, so if you have any questions, or specific accessibility requirements, please get in touch with the library for additional support.

Nick Leigh

 

 

 

 

 

“Shakespeare in Lockdown” : a selection of e-resources

Macbeth and Banquo meet the three witches on a heath; scene from Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Painting after J.H. Füssli (Fuseli).. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

 

The Library subscribes to a number of databases and websites which include Shakespeare resources, such as filmed performances of productions and other related material.

 

Goldsmiths E-resources

 

ArtFilms

Artfilms is a video streaming service offering more than 5000 films from around the world for arts education and arts practitioners. Includes Shakespeare and other performances.

 

Box of Broadcasts

BoB is Learning on Screen’s on demand service for education, with TV and radio programmes from over 65 Freeview channels.

 

Digital Theatre Plus

A performing arts resource featuring over 400 British theatre productions onscreen. Includes BBC, Globe and RSC Shakespeare productions, plus Manga Shakespeare graphic novels.

 

Drama Online

1500 play scripts in the core collection, plus Globe on Screen performances.

 

Literature Online (LION)

Literature Online includes Shakespeare criticism and Cambridge Companions to Shakespeare.

 

Routledge Performance Archive

Routledge Performance Archive provides a range of streamed video and audio footage from performance practitioners past and present, paired with relevant critical commentary.

 

Shakespeare Audio Plays

Arkangel Shakespeare audio versions of 38 plays, part of Literature Online (LION).

 

Shakespeare Survey Online

A yearbook of Shakespeare studies and criticism going back to 1948.

 

Theatre in Video

Theatre in Video contains hundreds of documentaries and performances of plays, including 160 Shakespeare related videos.

 

A Selection of Websites

 

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (play texts) : http://shakespeare.mit.edu/

 

Globe Player : https://globeplayer.tv/free-content

 

National Theatre At Home : https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home

 

Royal Shakespeare Company : https://www.rsc.org.uk/

 

Shakespeare’s Globe : https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/

 

Shakespeare Online : http://www.shakespeare-online.com/

 

All Goldsmiths databases require institutional login for access. For further information and resources please see the Library’s Audio-Visual and Theatre Subject Guides.

 

Mark Preston, Subject Librarian for Education, English & Theatre 

Library databases for Theatre productions

ytkoks https://www.flickr.com CC BY 2.0

The Library subscribes to a number of audio-visual databases which include filmed performances of Theatre productions and other Theatre-related material. Please feel free to have a look at the following:

 

ArtFilms :

https://www-artfilms-digital-com.gold.idm.oclc.org/

Artfilms-Digital is a video streaming service offering more than 5000 films from around the world for arts education and arts practitioners. Includes Shakespeare and other performances.

 

Box of Broadcasts :

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand

BoB is Learning on Screen’s on demand service for education, with TV and radio programmes from over 65 Freeview channels.

 

Digital Theatre Plus :

https://www.digitaltheatreplus.com/user

An integrated online performing arts resource featuring recent British theatre productions onscreen, study guides and teaching materials. Includes over 400 filmed productions.

 

Drama Online :

https://www-dramaonlinelibrary-com.gold.idm.oclc.org/

1500 play scripts plus Globe on Screen performances. Temporarily extended until 31st May to include 3000 plays and all audio-visual content, including BBC, National Theatre and RSC productions.

 

Film Platform :

https://www-filmplatform-net.gold.idm.oclc.org/universities/goldsmiths-college-library/

This collection is curated by film experts and academics to showcase meaningful documentaries of social, political and cultural importance by some of the world’s top international filmmakers.

 

Routledge Performance Archive :

https://www-routledgeperformancearchive-com.gold.idm.oclc.org/

Routledge Performance Archive provides exclusive access to a range of streamed video and audio footage from performance practitioners past and present, paired with relevant critical commentary.

 

Theatre in Video :

https://video-alexanderstreet-com.gold.idm.oclc.org/channel/theatre-in-video

Theatre in Video: Volume I contains hundreds of videos, including documentaries and definitive performances of the world’s most important plays, and covers a wide range of 20th century theatre history.

 

All items require institutional login for access. For further information and resources please see the Library’s Audio-Visual and Theatre Subject Guides.

Written by Mark Preston, Subject Librarian for Education, English & Theatre

 

Library Services and Academic Skills Support During COVID-19

On Monday 23 March the Library building closed until further notice. However, the Library continues to be committed to supporting research, learning, and teaching at Goldsmiths. We are continuing to provide a service through:

  • Our digital collections
  • Extensive online support for library users via Libchat from the hours of 09:00 – 19:00 each day, and 13:00 – 18:00 at weekends.
  • Online access to subject librarians, special collections and academic skills professionals.

Further information on our service is available on our Web pages through the specially developed Library Services and Academic Skills Support During COVID-19 LibGuide

During this time, Library staff will continue to provide support to our students, staff and researchers. We will also continue to develop and manage our collections. Over the coming weeks Library staff will share their experiences of supporting users and developing collections in our Library Blog.

In March, the Online Research Collections teams and one of our Library Student Reps Marco Pace wrote a blog on Open Access at Goldsmiths. Due to the world turning upside down we had to postpone posting the blog but we are now belatedly making it available.

Lewisham Lit Society: Library book display

The Library curates regular book displays marking themes and events taking place at Goldsmiths. This month the Library has a foyer book display of writers being studied by a new Student Union society, the Lewisham Lit Society, to highlight the literary history of Lewisham and its vibrant contemporary writing scene. Lewisham Lit Society is a student-led, community focused book group which looks at books written by authors with a connection to the borough or which are set in Lewisham. This year they will be reading Candice Carty Willliams’ ‘Queenie’ (Carty Williams grew up in Lewisham) and Jay Barnard’s poetry collection ‘Surge’, which takes inspiration from the New Cross fire of 1981.

Membership is open to all students at Goldsmiths but also to the local community, and anyone interested in the Society is welcome to contact them at @lewishamlit on Facebook or Instagram.

 

written by Mark Preston, Subject Librarian

Celebrating Buchi Emecheta

On October 23, the Library celebrated the opening of the Buchi Emecheta Space, a dedicated exhibition area on the second floor. An evening reception featured short talks by the Warden, Professor Frances Corner and Head of Library Services, Leo Appleton. They welcomed the eminent editor, writer and broadcaster Margaret Busby, OBE who shared her experience of being the first to publish Buchi Emecheta’s work in Britain, holding up her copy of the first edition of The Slave Girl, featuring the photographic portrait of the author by Val Wilmer. Angelique Golding concluded the presentations with a beautiful reading from Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood that brought the power of her writing and her voice into the room.

 

   

Margaret Busby – Co-Founder, Allison & Busby, Professor Frances Corner – Warden, Goldsmiths, University of London, Leo Appleton – Director of Library Services, Goldsmiths, University of London, Jessa Mockridge – Artist & Writer, Angelique Golding – Department Business Manager, Goldsmiths University of London & student of Black British Writing.

Florence Onyebuchi “Buchi” Emecheta OBE (21 July 1944–25 January 2017) was a powerful and defiant Nigerian British writer, teacher, mother, librarian and ‘African feminist’. She wrote prolifically authoring over 20 books, including: Second Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979). Emecheta’s writing defies easy categorization and is relevant to many communities: Womanists read her fierce motherhood and solidarity; Feminists, her bold independence. Queer readers pick up on her community building. Anti-racist activists celebrate her great pride in her culture and blackness. She is held up as a writer of both Nigerian and Black British identity and continues to inspire contemporary postcolonial writers. Bravery, outspokenness and determination shoot through her novels, plays, autobiography, children’s literature and critical writing.

The Buchi Emecheta Space sees the under-used lobby on the Library’s 2nd floor  re-fitted to provide an additional display area in Rutherford Building to show projects developed from engagement with materials held in the Library, including Special Collections and Archives. The inaugural exhibition organized by the curatorial group Present Futures (a collaboration between curators Teal Baskerville, Kathy Cho and Loren Elhili) originated as a project drawing on the Women of Colour Index in the Women’s Art Library collection held in Special Collections. The show, titled ‘Becoming an archive’ is part of an ongoing project presenting the archive as a space of becoming for women and non-binary people of colour and features a wide range of practices, represented by documents, artist multiples, publications and videos. The exhibition also features a powerful new commission from Rebecca Bellantoni who held a flagmaking workshop during Black History Month.

 

 

A plaque commemorating Buchi Emecheta is installed in the space alongside a dedication from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – ‘Buchi Emecheta. We are able to speak because you first spoke. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your art. Nodu na ndokwa.’ Jessa Mockridge initiated the project to honor Emecheta with an exhibition she co-organized with Halima Haruna, titled “comeback mother : Buchi Emecheta” (April 2018, Kingsway Corridor, Richard Hoggart Building). This exhibition was an installation inspired by visiting Buchi Emecheta’s archive, preserved by her son, Sylvester Onwordi in London. Jessa worked directly with Sylvester and coordinated colleagues Laura Elliot, Althea Greenan and Nadine Plummer (Black British Writing MA) to visit the archives of manuscripts and ephemera, borrowing a selection for study back in Goldsmiths Special Collections. The exhibition included texts selected by Anqelique and Nadine. Jessa and Halima designed the publication “comeback mother” with reproduced handwritten and type writer notes lifted directly from Buchi Emecheta’s archive. Copies were distributed at the Buchi Emecheta Space opening event and spare copies are available from Special Collections and Archives, should you like one.

The evening featured a display of Emecheta’s books that are held in the Library and a soundtrack of Nigerian popular music. The evening brought together past and current students from the MA Black British Writing course to commemorate one of the most important black women writers published in the UK alongside one of the most important black women publishers, Margaret Busby, on Elizabeth William’s invitation.

The journalist Olatoun Gabi-Williams attended and has since written an excellent article for the Borders Literature web site which was also recently published in the Guardian Nigeria.

http://bordersliteratureonline.net/womendetails/Buchi_Emecheta

https://guardian.ng/art/when-goldsmiths-college-honoured-buchi-emecheta/

The Buchi Emecheta Space is open to students and staff wishing to work with materials from the Library or Special Collections, especially critical projects that broaden the curriculum and maintain the spirit of Emecheta’s appeal to many communities. Email Andrew Gray, Academic Services Librarian a.gray@gold.ac.uk for an exhibition proposal form.

Collaborating with the Library

Collaborating with the Library

In the library, we love to collaborate on projects and events. This month on the library blog, we’re looking at different teams and projects in the library and ways that they collaborate with staff, students and members of the local community.

Hosting Events in the Library – Games Night

Games night, happening on November 8th, from 5pm till 9pm, in the Library, is a great example of how you can collaborate with staff in the library to hold events. This event has been organised by the Subject Librarian for Computing, Eve Jamieson, in conjunction with members of the Computing department. This event will highlight the work of current Goldsmiths students and Alumni, which attendees will be able to play, as well as talks from three members of the Games Industry who will share their expertise.

Here at the library, we love to host events in our event space and work with our colleagues across Goldsmiths, from other universities and libraries and different industries.

You can read more about Games Night and sign up for free tickets.

 

Student Library Reps

Every year we ask students to volunteer to be a Student Library Rep who can help shape our collections by purchasing items for their departments.

Working with students on this project help us to address feedback from students about the library not having or insufficient copies of books as well as ensuring the Library collection is meeting the needs of our students and giving them an engagement with the collection.

Students attend training with library staff, document their spending, and help to develop and promote Library services. Participating in the project is also a good opportunity to develop workplace skills such as budget management, negotiation, communication and teamwork.

Job Shadowing opportunities give students the opportunity to learn more about the work of the library by shadowing the various teams involved in its delivery. This year students shadowed our Scanning & Inter-Library Loans team, spent time in our Special Collections & Archives, and learnt about the work of our Subject Team.

Over the past 5 years of running this project we have seen that students who participate feel empowered and valued by the university, have the ability to influence decision-making in regards to the library’s services, collections and resources and help raise awareness of the library and its services to their fellow students. It also provides them with transferable skills in advocacy, negotiation, budgeting and promotion, which they can take with them to future careers, as well a role that they can add to their curriculum vitae and HEAR.

This year, the project runs from December 2019 to April 2020.

You can read more on how to apply for the Student Library Rep Project, and download an application.

But be quick! Applications close November 3rd.

 

PALs in the Library

What is a PAL? PAL stands for Peer Assisted Learning and is a student-led initiative run by the PAL Coordinator based in the Academic Skills Centre and a team of 34 trained students (PAL Facilitators).

PAL Facilitators run study-sessions for students where they can discuss anything from learning and their course to student life, in a friendly and informal environment with their peers. PAL participants and facilitators collaborate to run the sessions.

PAL is a space where all participants can feel comfortable to ask questions, review content, discuss knowledge, and receive advice.

PAL is running for 9 Departments in 2019/20.

There are also Ask a PAL sessions – where all UG year 0 & 1 students can drop-in and have a PAL session.

If you have PAL it will be on your timetable.

PAL is advertised through posters on campus, PAL Facilitators popping into your lectures and seminars, emails from Departments and also online 

If you are interested in becoming a PAL, recruitment occurs towards the end of Spring term each year, and are often recruited from participants in PAL sessions.

 

 

 

We’re always interested in working with students and departments to develop our services. If you have any ideas that you’d like to explore contact your Subject Librarian and they will be able to talk to you about what might work or put you in touch with the best person.

Doors open on new Library social learning spaces

Library ground floor

First thing this morning, the ground floor of Goldsmiths library reopened, on schedule, after a major refurbishment.

It had been closed throughout June and July, giving us time to take on board and implement feedback from our students and staff and create a new flexible, welcoming learning environment that supports the ways different people learn specifically for social and group study.

As with any university, Goldsmiths Library is the heart of the campus. It’s open around the clock, only closing at Christmas and New Year. It’s a go to place where staff and students can access services and resources.

It was important to us that provision of these was not interrupted, so we relocated the main entrance to the side of the building for the duration of the works.  This gave us the fantastic opportunity to co-deliver services alongside our IT colleagues building on the brilliant relationship we already have from working together at weekends – Thank you IT colleagues for being amazing!

So what does our refurbished ground floor look like? We’ve gone for muted colours, plants and wood so the space feels calm and natural. Now when people arrive, they enter through new proximity reader access gates. Comfortable sofa areas have been created, where people can hold relaxed conversation and enjoy coffee breaks. There are window seats to take in the views of New Cross, which are already proving popular. And, if people prefer, they can use one of our new booth spaces with screens that provide discreet places to work together on presentations and essays.

All the feedback we’ve had from students and staff so far has been really positive about how the space looks and feels, which we’re thrilled about. But, as important as it is to create an attractive, welcoming environment, libraries have to work to support study. Alongside spaces for individual working they need to provide spaces that encourage creativity, collaboration and social learning.

The ground floor of Goldsmiths Library now has a proper events space. This will be used to increase the visibility of and access to our special collections and archives.

It will give academic staff and Post Graduate Researchers the opportunity to publicly share their work and build on the success of the popular Research Cafes. Here, students will have the opportunity for learning outside their courses and departments will be able to collaborate with the Library on events, such as International Games week. If you have ideas do get in touch with your Subject Librarian.

Flexibility and creativity are a key element of the new ground floor. We’re going to have a fantastic interactive installation that will encourage playfulness and give library users a way to engage with the space and reflect on their emotional wellbeing.

Our new maker space provides 24/7 access to a variety of equipment encouraging creativity. We currently have a sewing machine, binding machine and lots of paper based craft equipment and we’ll be developing the space with library users as we go. It’s a work in progress but more details are available at https://libguides.gold.ac.uk/makerspace

On the rest of the ground floor group study tables allow different sized groups to work together. Visitors can configure spaces to meet their own learning needs using the new flexible furniture and ceiling power units. We’ll be trying out different learning and teaching activities and we hope you will find new ways to work in groups too.

We are all delighted and excited by the Library’s new ground floor and are looking forward to seeing what you, our students and colleagues, make of it.

That work has completed on time is a tremendous relief and a great achievement. Thank you to our colleagues in Goldsmiths Estates and Facilities, IT services and to everyone who supported making this happen. We really appreciate the effort everyone went to, and I am sure students and staff will too now they are using the spaces.

Library staff carry out a variety of activities throughout the year to look at how the spaces are actually used by people and we collaborated with the Anthropology Department to observe student activity and use of the library spaces in 2017. Surveys, reports, complaints and compliments all fed into the project and our Subject Team works closely with departments on aligning library resources with the needs of the departments and their students.

Receiving and acting on user feedback has been crucial to this project. The next time you visit the Library, let us know what you think of its new entrance hall and the improved facilities we’ve provided throughout the ground floor social study area. Leave feedback at https://www.gold.ac.uk/library/contact/anonymous-feedback/

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!