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Library Review: Library Buildings

Changing spaces: the journey so far

The future's bright: Arts and Social Studies Library

A change of tune: the Music Library moves to Aberdare Hall

Help yourselves at Bute and Architecture Libraries

Walls may have ears but bookshelves have eyes in the Biomedical Sciences Library

Llandough and Whitchurch libraries combine forces

Engineering a new Trevithick Library

Aberconway Library: the shape of things to come

Fact-finding and inspiration

Changing spaces: the journey so far

This presentation was created for the UC&R Wales event "Watch this space", Trinity University College Carmarthen, 21 May 2010. It summarises the changes that have taken place within the Cardiff University Library Service over the last few years and provides further details on the Arts and Social Studies Library refurbishment that took place in 2009/10.

Changing Spaces [13.6 Mb]



The future's bright: Arts and Social Studies Library

New Wolfson-funded floor in Arts & Social Studies Library, showing PC area and flexible seating

Funding from the Wolfson Foundation helped meet the cost of the new Wolfson Floor on the lower ground level of the Library, enabling the Graphic Services unit to move into new accommodation and creating a spacious wireless-enabled eLounge with flexible seating, alongside a bank of fixed PCs.  Three bookable seminar rooms and enhanced facilities for the housing of Special Collections materials complete a vibrant and inspiring new addition to the library's facilities.

Meanwhile, colourful new mobile shelving has been installed on the top floor to house journal collections more efficiently, whilst freeing up space to eliminate overcrowding in the book stacks.

A change of tune: the Music Library moves to Aberdare Hall

Now known as the Music Library at Aberdare Hall, this library has relocated from the Music School building (freeing up valuable space in the School) and moved into attractive new premises in neighbouring Aberdare Hall.  Natural daylight, courtyard views and space-saving mobile shelving are all welcome new additions resulting from the project.

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Help yourselves at Bute and Architecture Libraries

Self issue machines in library

These two neighbouring libraries now benefit from RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Technology which allows library users to issue and return books themselves, freeing up library staff to help users with other tasks. The resulting space savings mean that Bute now benefits from a completely opened-out entrance area with informal seating for laptop users, while the entrance to Architecture has been reconfigured to create a group study room to enhance the facilities available to users.

Walls may have ears, but bookshelves have eyes in the Biomedical Sciences Library

In summer 2009 RFID was installed in the Biomedical Sciences Library, along with ground-breaking electronic book-tracking technology provided by SmartBlade from Intellident Ltd. Cardiff University is the first test site in the world to contribute to the development of this technology - find out more about this pioneering technology.

Llandough and Whitchurch Libraries combine forces

The Archie Cochrane Library, which was formerly located within Llandough Hospital itself, reopened in December 2009 in a new building at the entrance to the Llandough site. This library now incorporates the former Whitchurch Postgraduate Library and the move reflects the relocation of mental health services to Llandough by the NHS Local Health Board.  The new library benefits from RFID self issue.

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Engineering a new Trevithick Library

Study area in library

The reopening of Trevithick Library in January 2008 brought enhanced layout, ventilation and lighting to the library, plus improved staff office space.Wolfson Foundation funding, University capital and corporate sponsorship enabled the rebuild, which also offers new facilities such as group study rooms, a research lounge and dedicated IT training facilities. See a timeline of the refurbishment.

Aberconway Library: the shape of things to come

In summer 2007 Aberconway Library underwent a major refurbishment project to upgrade facilities in response to user consultation, and to bring all the library's services together under one roof. You can read more about the refurbishment (Cardiff University members only). 

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Fact-finding and inspiration

Library staff have visited university sites around the UK to view recent innovative practice in provision of space for research, learning and teaching. Recent visits have included the new Information Commons for undergraduates, which complements the library at Sheffield University, and to three libraries in Oxford, which demonstrated a variety of research environments.

Library Design Special Interest Group

This new group for Higher Education Libraries met at Sheffield Hallam University to discuss issues surrounding library design and the evaluation of the use of library spaces. Visits were made to The Adsetts Centre at Sheffield Hallam and to the Information Commons at Sheffield University.

WHELF Study Tour to Dublin

The Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum recently organised a study tour of Dublin HE libraries in Autumn 2008, attended by two staff members from the University Library Service. Libraries of Trinity College and Dublin City University, among others, were visited.

Dublin Libraries visit 2008

SCONUL Buildings visit to Bournemouth and Southampton

In November 2008 a visit was made to Bournemouth and Southampton University libraries, both of which have undergone significant extensions / refurbishments, to find out how they have updated their library spaces to meet modern requirements such as flexibility, group study space and extended opening hours.

SCONUL Buildings visit 2008

David Wilson Library, University of Leicester

This £32m project set out to extend and refurbish a 1975 library building to create an adaptable, light, modern library incorporating a range of new facilities.

David Wilson Library visit 2008

LIBER Architecture Group Conference, Budapest

In April 2008 a representative from the University Library Service attended the LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) Architecture Group Conference in Budapest and produced a report to illustrate the variety of library environments visited in Budapest during the Conference.

Library Review LIBER Budapest 2008 

  • Artist's impression of the Cochrane Building to be built on the Heath Campus, incorporating the Medical School and Health Sciences Library