World exclusive!

This is a little naughty of me — posting pictures of the two subject floors that have undergone refurbishment this year before many of our library staff have had chance to see them in person 😉
Last summer, we refurb’d the entrance floor of the library and rebranded it as the “Student Centre” to reflect the fact that the myriad of student service departments now had a presence in the library. Shortly afterwards, actor Patrick Stewart formally opened the library 🙂
(Mr Stewart chats to Lisa and Bryony at the “Ask a Librarian” desk)
This year, we’ve tackled 2 of the 4 subject floors and they’ve been strictly out-of-bounds for most of the summer. Just before the floors were handed over to the builders, I popped round with my camera (see Flickr)…
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Four months on, and I’ve gone round again. The refurbished floors aren’t open to staff or students yet, as shelving is still being fitted, PC desks are being installed, and crates of stock are returning from temporary storage. You can view the photographs on Flickr or watch them as a slideshow.
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The architects had a difficult brief — improve study facilities, add social spaces and flexible areas, and do it all with the existing space and without loosing shelving capacity.
Wandering around the floors, they’ve managed to do it and then some!

  • flooring is used to guide people through the floor, with clear paths from both staircases to the Subject Team office on each floor
  • the silent study area and silent PC rooms aren’t enclosed rooms, but use corridors of thick glass walls to absorb noise — as you enter the areas, the noise from the rest of the floor simply vanishes!
  • to free up much needed space, each floor makes use of mobile shelving from Nordplan
  • power sockets and data points are everywhere — scattered across the floor in floor boxes and mounted in vertical poles close to the where the comfy furniture will be placed
  • most of the walls are curved, and most of the walls are glass — natural light floods in and you’re never far away from the great views across the valley and towards Castle Hill (Huddersfield’s most famous landmark)

One thing I’ve not taken a photograph of yet is the new eco-friendly library catalogue PCs, and that’s because I’m not installing them until later on this week …pop back on Thursday evening and I’ll reveal all!
And, if that wasn’t enough, today we unveiled our Learning 2.0 programme at the annual Teaching & Learning Conference held at the University — yay! 🙂

Old Job, New Job

Technically today is the last day of my “old job”, which saw me based with the Business Applications Team in Computing Services at the University of Huddersfield. From Monday, I’m still the “Library Systems Manager”, but I’ll be moving up to join colleagues in the Technical Services Team in the Library.
My new role will be less about systems admin and hardware troubleshooting, and much more about development, programming and improving access to e-resources.
And that’s not the only change around here — phase 2 of the 3 year refurbishment of the University Library is nearly complete. I’ll be posting some photos next week, but the refurbished subject floors look fantastic!!! It’s hard to believe it looked like this a few weeks ago…
Music Library

Where did all the books go?

The University of Hudderfield Library is entering into the 2nd phase of a 3 year refurbishment. Last year, it was the entrance floor, and this year it’s the two subject floors above. Floor 5 is already cleared of stock, and floor 6 will be empty by the end of next week.
I couldn’t resist spending a few minutes wandering around the deserted floor 5 this afternoon. Most times of the year, it’s a vibrant and busy subject floor — today is was eiree and desolate. With the shelving and staff gone, you get a real sense of the space and size…
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The floor of the former PC room is dotted with circular patches where the culmulative effect of hundreds of students on PC swivel chairs has gradually worn away the carpet. It’s like something out of a sci-fi film where people get zapped and turned into a small round pile of ash 😉
You can find the rest of the photos here.
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Patrick Stewart in the Library

It’s not every day that you get a former Captain of the starship Enterprise in your Library, but today was one of those days! Patrick Stewart is the current Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, and was born just down the road in Mirfield.
The refurbished library opened it’s doors to students in September (see photos), but today was the official opening ceremony of the Student Centre (which is the entrance floor of the library). To celebrate the event, we had a string quartet playing in the foyer, and Patrick Stewart gave a speech and unveiled a plaque.
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No sooner had Patrick walked in, he headed straight for the Info Desk…
Lisa (left) is looking slightly surprised and that’s my better half Bryony sat on the right.
After an entertaining speech…
…Patrick unveiled the plaque…
…drinks were served…
…and he personally thanked the library staff for their hard work over summer…
I’d thoroughly recommend getting a string quartet to play in your library entrance — it definitely sets a nice ambience 🙂

Library Refurbishment

The entrance floor of the University of Huddersfield Library has been closed all summer for a major refurbishment. Today, we opened the doors to the “Student Centre” (the new name for the entrance floor) in time for Welcome Weekend and the start of Fresher’s Week.
Apart from the refurbishment, the new Student Centre hosts service points for the various Student Services which were previously housed elsewhere in the Central Services Building. This is great news for our students, as the majority of the services they require to support them during their studies are now in one place.
Even more exciting (for me, anyway!) — we get delivery of our new RFID book sorter on Monday morning 🙂
You can see all of the images from this morning in this Flickr set (or as a slideshow). Here are some of my favourites…

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We’ve even managed to tweak our OPACs so that the screensaver matches the new colour scheme 🙂