Library Staff Meeting – January 2015

This week staff members from across the Library were invited to attend a presentation outlining the proposals for the Main Library Redevelopment. This was the first opportunity for many to hear about the proposed transformation, the drivers behind the investment and the impact that this would have on staff and students. Unsurprisingly, attendance was high, with colleagues eager for a glimpse into the future of Main Library.

University Librarian and Director of The John Rylands Library Jan Wilkinson
University Librarian and Director of The John Rylands Library Jan Wilkinson

University Librarian and Director of The John Rylands Library, Jan Wilkinson, opened the meeting with a brief history of the Main Library building, from when it first opened its doors in 1936, as helpful background to the current project. Although the building has undergone a series of restorations and extensions over the years, an overhaul to the heating, lighting and ventilation systems is now of the highest priority. Other drivers for change include:

  • The closure of North Campus and the need to create space for staff and stock currently based at Joule Library
  • Navigation of the buildings and collections
  • Cafe provision
  • Toilets
  • Better access to power, data and other facilities
  • Improved study space
  • Access to Special Collections
  • Better work spaces for postgraduates and academics
  • Bringing teams together physically
  • Connecting teams, supporting culture change
Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian Simon Bains outlines the proposal
Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian Simon Bains

Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian, Simon Bains, then outlined the proposed transformation and talked about how the Main Library Redevelopment would address these challenges. Definite changes to the roofing, heating, lighting, windows and flooring have been agreed with additional changes to navigation, stock location and study areas more than likely to happen. Specific changes included:

  • Removal of the escalator on Blue Ground
  • Demolition of the Muriel Stott Centre and its replacement with  a new courtyard and landscaping
  • Relocation of the café to a more prominent position
  • Visible stairways, better way-finding and clearly marked doors
Library Estate Development Project Manager Rosie Jones discusses impact
Library Estate Development Project Manager Rosie Jones

Library Estate Development Project Manager, Rosie Jones, then talked about what impact the redevelopment would have both on staff and students, and how the Library will ensure that disruption is managed during the transition.

Staff were given the opportunity to ask questions (of which there were many) before breaking out into smaller groups to discuss the proposals. Watch the video below to hear some of their reactions to the coming changes:

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