X Close

LibNet staff news

Home

Menu

Archive for the 'Sustainable estate' Category

Collette E MLawrence24 April 2019

Building Team blog – Summer Projects 2019

If you have any queries regarding projects please contact Jay james.woodhouse@ucl.ac.uk

The Library has secured funding for four projects from the Central Estates Strategy Board (CESB) for this summer. These are:

Science Library – To create a new accessible toilet to be installed on the ground floor. This will include with a hoist and changing facilities. To be undertaken as soon as possible at the start of the summer, the project is likely to take fourteen weeks.

Graduate Hub, South Wing – Refurbish the main room and kitchenette. This area will become more study focused with individual study spaces, rather than sofas. The Kitchenette and Main room will be redecorated, new floor covering and all new furniture. In the computer room the chairs will be replaced. The duration of this project will be ten weeks.

Senate House Hub – This will repurpose the Senate House hub into a Post Graduate Research (PGR) only space. The front half of the space will be for PGR, while the rear area will be for funded Centre for Doctorial Training (CDT). Some of the existing furniture will be relocated within the space, with some new furniture and an additional card controlled door. The duration of this project will be ten weeks.

Institute of Education – The entrance will be refurbished with new turnstiles and a combined Library/ISD service desk, similar to the Science Library Learning Lab Help point installed last year. Smart Shelves will be installed, this is an alternative to an auto sorter. The duration of the project six weeks towards the end of the summer.

UCL Student Centre nominated for Civil Engineering Award

Benjamin G MMeunier12 April 2019

The Student Centre has been shortlisted for the ICE London Civil Engineering People’s Choice award, which is excellent news. To win, we now need to win the public vote… 

Please take a moment to vote at: https://www.ice.org.uk/about-ice/near-you/uk/london/awards/london-civil-engineering-awards

It’s up against some big hitters like Heathrow T3 and Victoria Station upgrade, so we’d like all of your support. UCL Estates are also encouraging all UCL staff and students to vote.

For colleagues on Twitter, please retweet at: https://twitter.com/TransformingUCL/status/1113816001114775552

Voting closes 17.00 Sunday 28 April.

 

Library design and European collaboration

Benjamin G MMeunier10 April 2019

Earlier this year, I was honoured to be invited to join the LIBER Architecture Group (LAG), as the UK representative. I am replacing Karen Latimer, former Librarian of Queen’s University Belfast and an expert in library design and heritage architecture. The group furthers the exchange of experience between librarians and architects throughout Europe and attempts to raise the level of awareness of new projects and trends. This is done through biennial seminars, and via a database of Library Buildings in Europe documenting new buildings, renovations, refurbishments and extensions. The LIBER Architecture Group brings librarians together with building design professionals, and helps to focus concepts and planning processes and to share best practice in the sector. It operates as part of LIBER’s Strategic Direction on Research Infrastructure.

As the UK’s future relationship with the European Union continues to be under question, UCL is committed to maintaining close partnerships with European Higher Education and research organisations. The work we do in Library Services, in many areas across the service, involves work with European partners and I am pleased to be able to play a part in developing links with colleagues in the area of European library architecture.

On Monday, as part of the LIBER Architecture Group’s bi-annual meeting, I visited the National Library of Luxembourg, which is due to open in September 2019. The building is very nearly complete, and the move of collections is due in the coming weeks. It is a monumental building, and much of the construction sites I visited or saw in Luxembourg were on a large scale, reflecting the country’s ambitious plans to develop its knowledge economy.

The view inside the brand new National Library, opening in September

Façade of the National Library of Luxembourg

When it opens, the library will provide 470 study spaces, open to anyone over the age of 14. The library building was designed to meet best practice in sustainable construction, using geothermal energy and thermal mass to maintain stable environmental conditions. Storage space at the back of the building provides shelving for 300,000 items. Where collections are on open access, each shelf is fitted with an LED light strip, creating an almost theatrical feel but also practical way of ensuring that users can see clearly even when browsing the lowest shelves in a building where there is little ceiling lights (for environmental reasons and also to minimise the risk of fire).

Facilities within the library include a music room and family study room, where parents may undertake their research accompanied by young children. The library also has parking spaces for 2 “Bicherbus”, the national library bus, which travels across the country to support users in Luxembourg.

View of Luxembourg Learning Centre, at the centre of Luxembourg University’s new campus on the former steelworks

The Luxembourg Learning Centre is based within an old coal warehouse, at the foot of two huge steelwork chimneys. It is at the heart of the new Science City in Belval, about half an hour from the centre of Luxembourg City. During my visit, I learned that Luxembourg’s economy was severely affected by the loss of the steel industry in the 1970s and had to transform its economy into the financial hub it is today. However, the country is keen to diversify its economy and avoid relying entirely on the finance sector, so it is fast developing its science and innovation sector.

The Belval site is being redeveloped with EUR 1 billion already invested and a further EUR 900 million due to be injected by the government to transform this former industrial plant into a university campus associated with a wider cultural and entrepreneurial district. The industrial past is everywhere to be seen, with the plant and warehouse buildings now listed as monuments.

The Learning Centre is a high-tech library which supports around 7,000 students at the university. With 1,000 study spaces and built at a cost of around EUR 70 million, it is on a scale fit to support further growth of the university. Collections are in English, French and German, reflecting the multilingual nature of the country. Signposts on the campus are in French but all the signage in the library is in English, a decision the Library took to ensure that the majority of users could easily navigate the building. There is a welcome point and self-service RFID equipment, provided by Bibliotheca, at the entrance. The library operates with a relatively small team (24 staff in total), and their Customer Service team work closely with students on various UX projects. The library closes at night and is also closed at weekends, and they are looking at extending these hours in response to demand. For more information, including a video of the impressive building, you can visit the website of the Luxembourg Learning Centre.

The next LIBER Architecture Group seminar will be held in April 2020 and hosted at the Luxembourg Learning Centre. Further details will be circulated later this year.

Futuristic furniture and hi-tech equipment feature throughout the Learning Centre, such as these built-in tablets to provide access to national newspapers

The Learning Centre’s glass walls are wrapped around the original structure of the coal warehouse which fed the steelworks

Estates strategy consultation forum opens to UCL community

Benjamin G MMeunier5 April 2019

An online consultation forum has been launched by UCL Estates for staff and students to share their ideas and thoughts on UCL’s current estate and their views on opportunities and investment priorities for its future development.

 The consultation will feed into a refreshed strategy for the university’s estate, which UCL Estates is preparing to align the next phase of UCL’s physical development with UCL 2034. The strategy will consider UCL’s buildings and physical estate, the impact of UCL East and other satellite locations and the opportunities for growth.

 Among the comments and discussions posted so far include the need to for the strategy to ensure UCL sites outside of its Bloomsbury campus feel part of the UCL family and a suggestion for innovative bike storage on campus.

Visit the forum and share your views.

NB: After entering your UCL email address you will be sent your individual access link, which you can bookmark. You will be automatically logged in for a period of 30 days after which you will need to revisit the original email link.

Making a difference: Library Services Review 2015-18

Benjamin G MMeunier26 February 2019

As we begin to look forward for the next 4 years in the new Library Strategy, we can also take stock of the achievements from the last strategy period and reflect on how Library Services is making a difference to UCL. As a retrospective piece looking at some of the achievements from 2015-18, we have published the Library Services Strategy Review 2015-18.

As Pro-Vice-Provost Paul Ayris states in the Foreword, we have collectively achieved the vast majority of ambitious objectives which were set five years ago to support the vision laid out in UCL 2034. This is down to the work of each member of staff across the service, combining expertise, collaboration, innovation and a large dose of perseverance to ensure that our service is as good as it can be for the benefit of our staff and students within UCL, in the NHS and other users. The Review features a number of colleagues and teams in case studies which provide a glimpse into the varied projects and initiatives which Library Services undertakes. These illustrate how our department is improving the User Experience, delivers best value for money and engages with the world beyond UCL. Inevitably, the achievements listed are not exhaustive and we will be re-introducing Annual Reports effective from 2019, on a similar model to this Review, to present the work of Library Services each year.

Some of the highlights from 2015-18 are listed on the ‘What we do’ webpage, which provides a link to the full text Strategy Review.

New Library Services Strategy launched online

Benjamin G MMeunier21 February 2019

The UCL Library Services Strategy 2019-22 is now available online and in print booklets:

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/about-us/ucl-library-services-strategy-2019-22

Our 4-year strategy sets out the specific work the Library can undertake as an outstanding library service to support the long-term goals set out in UCL 2034. Within the Library Strategy, we define our values, based on the contributions of many colleagues from across the service. Thanks again to colleagues who contributed to shaping the strategy through the workshops and meetings at site libraries in the past 18 months. The Library Strategy is organised around six strands of activity, or Key Performance Areas (KPAs):

KPA leaders from the Library SMT oversee each of the KPAs, which contain the specific actions we have committed to delivering during the lifespan of this strategy. For more information, please visit the webpage. If you would like a print Strategy booklet for your team, these can be collected from Daniel Kordik (Main Library room 107, d.kordik[at]ucl.ac.uk). The Library SMT acts as the Library Strategy Steering Group.

We invite all members of Library Services to the Strategy launch event on 20th March and look forward to seeing many of you there!

 

Pro-Vice-Provost’s View

PaulAyris19 February 2019

The Student Centre is live!

As colleagues will know, the UCL Student Centre opened its doors to our students yesterday. The news story behind the opening can be found here. The £67.4 million multi-purpose Student Centre, located in the centre of London, provides 1,000 new study spaces, over eight levels, for UCL’s 42,000-strong student community.

At lunch time today, I took the opportunity to walk round the architectural spaces which the Student Centre provides and to discover how UCL students are taking to the additional study spaces which UCL is providing. Centrally located, the Student Centre provides wonderful group and quiet study spaces for UCL students which are open 24 x 7. The new study environment does not replace existing library provision, because from the start I decided that the Student Centre would contain no paper copy. It is easily within walking distance of the UCL Main and Science Libraries.

What we have been able to do, therefore, in bringing the Student Centre online is to create a fully digital learning environment – one which encourages both quiet study and group/collaborative working. There are also bookable study rooms which students can reserve for discrete group working, intelligent lockers, and banks of laptops which can be loaned.

The building also houses the public-facing services from the UCL Registry and thus provides a one-stop shop for student learning and support queries.

The space the building occupies was originally the College Hall, which was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War. It has taken decades for UCL to decide the use to which this plot of land should be put. It is fantastic that the Library has gained such a footprint in this wonderful building; and it is the Library who will be responsible for operating the building now that our students are beginning to use it. Already in the second day of its opening, I have received e-mails from university libraries all over the country asking to be able to come and visit the Centre and to discuss with us the UCL model for the library of the 21st century.

Congratulations to everyone in UCL Library Services who has contributed to delivering on this brilliant project. It is a proud moment in our history that we have added such a prestigious site and project into the UCL family of libraries.

Paul Ayris

Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)

Student Centre Tours

JayWoodhouse23 January 2019

The Student Centre tours are now fully booked. Sorry to those staff we have not been able to accommodate in this round of tours.

However, Amad Uddin, Student Centre Manager, will be running more staff tours after the buildings opening on the 18th February. Please look out for dates in blog from Amad following the opening.

Student Centre Tours

JayWoodhouse21 January 2019

I will be running a series of tours of the Student Centre for Library Staff prior to the building opening on the 18th February. These are open to all Library staff and will last one hour.

The dates are:

Thursday 31st January 10:00 & 14:00

Tuesday 5th February 11:00 & 15:00

Wednesday 6th February 11:00 & 14:00

If you are interested in coming on one of these tours please e-mail the preferred slot to james.woodhouse@ucl.ac.uk . Allocation will be first come, first served.

Design the future of sustainability at UCL

Benjamin G MMeunier11 January 2019

(submitted on behalf of Eve Nelson, Sustainability Projects Officer, UCL Environmental Sustainability)

The UCL Sustainability Team are working to redesign the sustainability vision for UCL and we want your input!

 

Where are we now?

Our first sustainability strategy was created in partnership with the UCL community back in 2013.  Since then we have climbed 63 places in the People and Planet University League to become a first class university, testimony to staff and students across campus working hard to teach, research and operate in a more sustainable way.

  • We have reduced our carbon emissions by 14% over the last 10 years
  • All our new buildings are meeting BREEAM Excellent or higher
  • We send zero waste to landfill, and 65% of waste is recycled
  • We have over 60 departments taking part in Green Impact and 100 Green Champions

 

A new vision for sustainability at UCL

But is this enough?  UCL’s world leading research community is showing that we need to find solutions to live within our planetary limits and deliver social equality.  What better place to find and test those solutions than here at UCL?

We want to develop a shared sustainability vision for UCL, celebrating and integrating the breadth of activity around environmental and social responsibility issues currently taking place, and also collaborating beyond our community. Sustainability is a challenge and an opportunity for everyone.

Initial consultation with staff and students has led to three themes:

  • Sustainable literacy – enabling globally responsible citizens
  • Getting the basics right – providing the infrastructure to help our community make sustainable choices
  • Global research, local solutions – using UCL’s research to tackle operational challenges

Three signature campaigns are proposed to provide a focus for the activities: Wild Bloomsbury, Climate Change: Action! and Sustainable Stuff. Find out more here.

 

What do you want to change?

We want to hear your ideas and opinions. What should a sustainable UCL look like? What needs to change? Have you seen a great example of sustainability you think we should implement? What projects would you like to see under these signature programmes? And how can we make the strategy a success?

We greatly appreciate your input in our three minute survey. It takes less time than making a cup of tea!

Take our survey