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A new library in Bloomsbury: relocating the UCL SSEES Library

Pitman, L.; (2007) A new library in Bloomsbury: relocating the UCL SSEES Library. New Library World , 108 (5/6) pp. 263-277. 10.1108/03074800710748812. Green open access


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Purpose – The paper seeks to describe the processes involved in an academic library building project, from the choice of site and appointment of the architects to the move itself. The focus is on finding solutions to problems caused by limited space, fixed deadlines and innovative design, and ensuring that the Library needs are fully understood throughout a complex project involving other interest groups over a number of years. Design/methodology/approach – The experience of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library is used as a case study to describe various issues around library design, working with architects and project managers, and managing a library move. Reference is made to the impact of the 7 July bombings in London on library staff. Findings – The case study outlines the importance of Library involvement in every aspect of the design, the impact of decisions about internal layout on library capacity, the adaptability of library staff to unusual and difficult working conditions, the possibility of providing a limited service in an incomplete building, the importance of balancing aesthetic and functional considerations in the final design, and the impact of those design decisions on the long-term functioning and use of the Library. Originality/value – The paper describes most of the processes and problems likely to be encountered in a major library building project and will be useful to any library setting out on such a project.

Type: Article
Title: A new library in Bloomsbury: relocating the UCL SSEES Library
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1108/03074800710748812
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03074800710748812
Language: English
Keywords: academic libraries, architecture, libraries, library buildings, project management, United Kingdom
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP Research > Library Services
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3744
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