Building from the blueprint set out in the UCL Master Plan, UCL Library Services has worked closely with UCL Estates through 2011-12 to improve the learning environment on campus.
The first major project of the Master Plan, at the heart of the Main Library, was begun in summer 2012. The oculus in the Flaxman Gallery is being re-opened and glazed over, overlooking the spectacular Octagon Gallery. The new displays will showcase the variety of UCL’s collections to students, staff and visitors.
Over the course of 2011-12, the Library worked with UCL Estates to deliver a number of projects aimed at enhancing the Student Experience, including a pilot area for the Cruciform Hub, which is helping the architects to refine the designs for the Hub. Other projects included the creation of social learning space in the Jeremy Bentham Room and the Research Grid in the Wilkins Building.
“ The Graduate School exists to ensure that the graduate education at UCL fulfils our students’ needs and expectations, equips them for a successful future, and enables them to make the most of the excitement of graduate studies. Central to this aim is the provision of first class learning spaces that cater for the particular needs of our graduate student community. We have therefore been very pleased to work with Library Services on the provision of the new “Research Grid”: it is an excellent addition to the suite of spaces available for individual study and collaborative work. One of our students wrote saying, “I think I speak for many graduate students here when I say that we greatly value the new study space”. We can only echo this sentiment and thank all those involved. ”
Professor David Bogle, Head of the Graduate School.
Improvements to quiet study space have been made at the UCL Institute of Archaeology Library and in the Science Library. All desks in the Main Library now have power sockets and wi-fi for laptop users.
Behind the scenes, the Science Library now hosts a Digitization Suite – a facility created in partnership with the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. This will be used for digitizing Special Collections materials and eventually as a teaching space.
Alongside these enhancements, UCL Library Services was also awarded a Bronze Award in the Green Impact programme, in recognition of its work to reduce waste in the Main and Science Libraries.
Looking ahead to future developments, Library Services are involved in the Student Centre, advising on the provision of study space, as well as various Hubs being planned in Bloomsbury. UCL Stratford will also offer many opportunities for developing innovative library services to support UCL’s vision for the new university quarter.
In collaboration with the Whittington NHS Trust, UCL Medical School and Estates, a new Healthcare Library at the Whittington Hospital is being designed to replace provision when the Archway Healthcare Library closes in summer 2013.