Consulting on the design
To inform the design of the new library the College team listened to students through consultative groups and the annual College Library survey. Feedback showed that the main thing the students wanted was a separate silent study room.
Senior Librarian Helen Sherwood said, 'Silent study space went out of fashion for a while but it has been the main issue that students have had about out study environment.' Areas for group study and comfy seating also scored highly on the list.
Demco library design consultants worked with the College library and estates team to create a library that would realise those expectations, leading to student satisfaction levels soaring: the College 2013 User Survey saw an increase in satisfaction with the study environment rising from a 54% in 2012 to 92%.
Differentiated learning spaces were key objectives and the project Estates team took this on board, helping to secure a multi-floor layout. Helen added: 'We wanted the look and feel of the floors to be different from each other – emphasised by different colour schemes.'
Demco proposed lime green, grey, turquoise, orange and pink to define the different levels and set the mood for each floor. On the busy ground floor is a counter, group study tables, vocational resources and a large computer space. The first floor is quieter with small study tables, academic resources, smaller banks of computers and a small IT classroom, and on the second floor mezzanine a bookable IT teaching space.
Helen said: 'The trip to the Demco showroom was really useful – it firmed up some ideas and changed others.'