Adam Smith Library turns over a new leaf

Adam Smith Library turns over a new leaf

Issued: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:14:00 GMT

The Library in the Adam Smith Building is to be re-purposed to create desk space for PGR students and “touch down” space for PGT students in the School of Social and Political Sciences.

The move has been prompted by the need to ease the significant pressure on space in the University.

Following consultation with staff and students, the senior management of the SSPS has decided to close the ASB Library at the end of this semester to allow Estates and Commercial Services to carry out a “light touch” refurbishment of the space early in the New Year.  A decant of books started this week.

When the ASB Library reopens in February, it should be able to accommodate around 40 PGR students and provide touch-down space for around 20-22 PGTs. A small working group of PGR students and staff has been set up to work with Estates and Commercial Services on the internal design and provision of this space.

In the longer-term, a major re-fit of the AS Library will take place in session 2018-19. This would allow SSPS to accommodate more PGR students and to create space for an innovative Social Justice Hub.

Increased research capacity

“This Hub would allow us to pilot, amongst other things, new ways of working with PGRs in research neighbourhoods bringing together researchers at different stages of their careers. It is hoped that these new ways of working will increase our research capacity and benefit researchers at all stages.  It will also be used to inform the way we work once we move to new premises in Phase 1b of the campus development programme,” said Head of School Professor Michele Burman.

She added: “There is no doubt that the ASB Library is a well-used study space by students at all levels, but we are under an obligation to find a desk and storage space for our PGR students, and we must also find space for PGT students - at least in the short term - while other areas in the University are being developed to provide PGT and PGR accommodation.

“With the McGregor Building due for closure in February 2018, finding space for PGRs has become one of our biggest challenges. It is also clear from statistics on library usage that the ASB Library is rarely used as a lending facility: rather it is used as a study space by students.  The refurbishment will allow us to expand this space and offer better study facilities.”

Susan Ashworth, Executive Director of Information Services and University Librarian, is very supportive of this proposal and has agreed that books from the ASB Library, which are not already duplicated in the University Library holdings, will be retained by the Library until the SSPS moves to a new space on campus. A fetching service will be in place for anyone who wishes to borrow material from the Collection.

The Students’ Representative Council also supports the proposal and plans to work closely with Estates and Commercial Services to see what can be done to increase the provision of study spaces for undergraduates.

In addition, the Main Library is piloting  24/7 opening; this trial started on Monday, November 27, and will run until Tuesday, December 15.  If this pilot shows that demand is high for 24-hours-a-day opening, the University will consider funding this all year round. Currently the ASB Library opening hours are limited to 9am to 5pm.