This is my last blog post for 2015 and after six months I can say that working on the Main Library Redevelopment project has been a fantastic experience.

Over the past week there has been a lot of progress, which is fitting as we approach the end of the year. The development and finalisation of many aspects of Stage 3 (Developed Design) has ensured that we feed in as much information to the design team as possible in order that the plans start to reflect our requirements. A decant review meeting was held to look at the progress of the open shelf stock decant that started last week. Although this first stage will involve smaller, sample sections of stock to decant, it allows the team to test various strategies and identify the most effective process to move the stock. We have finalised and taken ownership of our new off-site, storage facility, which is great news for the project. Work will begin to prepare the facility both for use by staff and also the accommodation of stock. Bruynzeel are the chosen contractor who will install a large configuration of shelving in the facility, of which we aim for this to be complete in January 2016.

Look out for our “books on the move” signage

I met with Peter Wadsworth (Executive Assistant and Library Office Manager) and Ian Gifford (Digital Library Applications Manager) to discuss the development of a tool to assess School level Main Library usage. This work will ensure that we can look at historical Library usage and identify any anomalies that don’t fit the average usage trends we have identified and that will help to advise the construction programme and our communications plan that will support all our Library users. Nick Jefferson (Software Developer) has already provided the first draft of this tool, which has been very useful.

Last Tuesday, 15 December, was a very busy day with a number of crucial project meetings. The Library’s project sponsor and senior project representatives met with the Capital Projects team to assess progress of the Stage 3 project review work that is being undertaken in order to prepare us for Stage 4 (Technical Design). A Library Design Meeting was held to look at the refined options for loose furniture, fittings and equipment and a review of the on-going work around the Wayfinding and Signage strategy. The work done by the design team on these topics has been great and accurately reflects the Library’s input and outcomes of the student and staff consultations we have delivered. We also undertook an IT Steering Group meeting where we assessed the progress of the IT and AV specifications for the project.

A number of meetings were held between members of the Collection Management team and the design team in order to develop plans for the team’s workspaces. Collection Management is a large and complex service that will be integrated into the Main Library due to the planned closure of the Sackville Street building as part of the University’s Campus Masterplan. As we are not building any additional spaces onto the existing Main Library building, we need to ensure that the redevelopment offers the best, most accessible spaces to our Library users whilst ensuring the newly created staff workspaces are efficient and effective.

Re-branded web pages will match the project look and feel

Adam Cooper (Communications Officer) and Kevin Beard (Library Web Services Manager) have recently completed a refresh of the existing Main Library Redevelopment website which will be launched very soon. The re-branded pages will compliment a range of other promotional material that we will use throughout the project.

Have a fantastic time over the holiday period and a happy new year. See you in 2016.

Mike Kelly (Library Space Project Manager).

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