We are aware of the student petition campaigning for more study spaces in addition to those available in the URS Building.
Investment in resources like our Library is really important, but we do understand that the refurbishment is causing disruption to students. There is no good time to undertake a project of this scale so we have worked hard, in consultation with RUSU, to provide the best alternative arrangements that we can while the work takes place.
The petition and response from RUSU has raised some important points that we would like to take the opportunity to address:
- Library refurbishment timeframe – we are doing all we can to complete the Library refurbishment as quickly as possible, aiming for the Ground and First Floors to re-open in autumn 2018 and for the remaining works to be complete in 2019. We have unfortunately encountered some unforeseen complications during the project, including more asbestos than originally anticipated, which has caused delays. We are continually exploring opportunities to accelerate the refurbishment work and to consider the possible implications of this, including how to fund additional costs.
- Using the Chancellor’s Building for study space – Library Supervisors can request for the Chancellor’s Building to be opened at weekends if the URS Building reaches capacity.
- Information provided to prospective students – at our recent 2017 Open Days we handed out postcards to prospective students to provide information about the Library refurbishment, explaining that it is due for completion in 2019 and that study furniture and other resources have been moved to the URS Building temporarily. This information was included in the briefing for students and staff working at the events and is also available on our website. The decision to relocate study space to the URS Building during the Library refurbishment works was made in January 2017, and information was provided to prospective students at all subsequent Open Days, as well as on our website and social media.
- Free Room Finder – We have received some suggestions to enhance the Free Room Finder to make it an even more useful resource for students, including for the time slots to be adjusted into 15, 30, 60 and 120 minute blocks, for the ‘Useful links’ to be permanently displayed on the page, and for permanently available study space to be listed at the top of the page. Our IT team have been working on this and the latter two changes should be complete by the end of next week. The development work to adjust the time slots will be ready for the start of the new term in January.
We are continuing to identify opportunities to make improvements to study space. For example, we are creating over 100 new spaces in Halls and we will be launching a new Study Space Map very soon. We will keep you updated on our Library refurbishment webpage.
Study space across our campuses
There are around 600 study spaces in the URS Building, which increases to 800 at weekends and during vacation periods when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use (there is a limit due to fire safety on the total occupancy of the building). The full 800 spaces will also be in place during the exam period.
Do not forget about the anti-desk-hogging service that library staff run in URS – speak to staff at the Reception desk by the main entrance or the Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor if you see unattended spaces apparently “booked” with belongings.
As well as the URS Building, there are 900 other study spaces across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. You can find out about these in a number of ways, including:
- the Free Room Finder, showing rooms available for immediate use;
- the list of alternative space, highlighting spaces across Whiteknights and London Road campuses, updated for each term;
- the live list of available PCs, providing information in real time on PCs across campus;
- RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2, offering study spaces to all campus card holders and
- rooms that can also be booked through the University’s Central Room Booking
There’s more information on the Library refurbishment project page.