The views come from librarians whose libraries have recently been transformed.
Benjamin Meunier describes the UCL Cruciform Hub, a modern learning space for medical students. 'Student involvement has been crucial to delivering the concept of “hubs” which shifts the paradigm from the academic library as detached ‘provider’ to students as partners in their education and experience of university life.'
The Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield was one of the winners of the 2016 SCONUL library design awards. Sarah Wickham says: 'Heritage Quay is unique in the approach we take to opening up access to archival collections in a wide variety of ways. This is seen in the design of the facility as well as the services we offer.'
Chris Awre reflects on the student experience at the University of Hull Brynmor Jones Library: 'The Library was specifically designed to accommodate many different types of learning according to need. This ranges from traditional silent study within the Reading Room to group study in 26 dedicated study rooms or quiet
study on the floors of the tower block, in groups or individually.'
The fourth contribution comes from the team at The Hive, Worcester, the other winner in the 2016 design awards. 'The Hive is a striking building which tends to divide opinion – people either love or hate the design and bright gold cladding. It was built with a high level of sustainability, through the use of lots of clever features such as using water from the local river for heat exchange.
'But what really makes it unique is the clientele – everyone from babies to U3A make use of the integrated facilities, services and stock. This gives us as the University Library fantastic opportunities to deliver our vision of helping connect the University and local communities.'