Meet the Steering Group (Part 1)

The Estates Masterplan Steering Group is made up of representatives from across the Library who combine their collective expertise and experience to provide governance for Library projects relating to or feeding into Estates Masterplan projects

The group kindly took some time out of their busy schedules to share their thoughts on the Main Library Redevelopment.

Simon-Bains

SIMON BAINS – HEAD OF RESEARCH SERVICES AND DEPUTY LIBRARIAN, RESEARCH & LEARNING SERVICES

Q: Which part of the redevelopment are you most excited about?

A: For visual appeal, the redesigned entrance area will make a significant impact. It will be an important first impression of the redevelopment, and the new cafe area and disappearance of the escalator will be very striking!

Q: How will the redevelopment affect your day-to-day workings within the Library?

A: The work itself will be challenging as we do our best to cope with the inevitable disruption, but I have confidence in our architect and designers to minimise this. The proposed changes to staff accommodation will make a big difference when the work is complete. I’m looking forward to working more closely with many of my colleagues and seeing the changes support our recently established ways of working.

Q: Which part of the redevelopment do you think will be of most benefit to the Library’s visitors?

A: The most value may be derived from the least noticeable changes – all the ‘long term maintenance’ which will improve heating, lighting, ventilation and important wellbeing facilities like increased toilet facilities. In terms of visual changes, I think the work to improve wayfinding will make a big difference to our customers, and there will be a new sense of space as a result of plans to remove the Muriel Stott Centre, cut through some floors, and add more glazing.

Michelle-Sharples

MICHELLE SHARPLES – MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, STRATEGIC MARKETING

Q: Which part of the redevelopment are you most excited about?

A: I’m most excited about improving the Library experience for our students; creating spaces for them which are conducive to study. I love the idea of having communities for subject areas so that students naturally gravitate to an area which will offer everything they need – book stock, technology and study space all in one.

Q: How will the redevelopment affect your day-to-day workings within the Library?

A: Grouping the majority of staff together in one area will really improve everyday working as it will be easier to pop in and talk to colleagues rather than relying on email, which we (including me) all do too much of. An added advantage is that it should help us understand what other teams do and how they work. I’m looking forward to Strategic Marketing being able to work together in the same space.

Q: Which part of the redevelopment do you think will be of most benefit to the Library’s visitors?

A: The improved navigation will be a huge benefit but most importantly I think the fact we are investing in the Main Library sends a really positive message to our visitors. Not only will everyone be able to find their way around much more easily but the long term maintenance and rethink of space will ‘lift’ the building and be a real boost to morale.

Olivia-Walsby

OLIVIA WALSBY – ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT LIBRARIAN, STRATEGIC MARKETING

Q: Which part of the redevelopment are you most excited about?

A: I’m excited about the redevelopment as a whole and the prospect of working in, and welcoming our staff and students into, an environment that mirrors the exciting direction our strategy has been taking us over the past few years.

Q: How will the redevelopment affect your day-to-day workings within the Library?

A: My hope is that a new layout and working environment will provide the flexibility to allow me to work more closely with colleagues across other library departments on a daily basis. Oh, and more natural light to improve my pallid Librarian’s complexion!

Q: Which part of the redevelopment do you think will be of most benefit to the Library’s visitors?

A: It has to be some of the core changes planned in improving both navigation through the building and providing a more comfortable environment in terms of heating, lighting, and ventilation. No more shivering students!

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