THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD LIBRARY USER GROUP Minutes of the meeting held 5th February 2008 Present: Mr A Allan, Mr A Bussey, Ms K Borrill, Dr L Brammer, Dr J Byrne, Dr M Cambray-Deakin, Ms T Clarke, Dr M Conboy, Dr A Coutts, Ms J Dagg, Dr P Deacon (Chair), Mr K Dean, Mrs G Goddard, Dr N Hallett, Ms D Harrison, Dr Z Huang, Dr N Hunkin, Dr H Kinoshita, Mrs A Little, Mr M Lewis, Miss A Lord, Dr B Matlock, Ms M Mawson, Ms C O’Dell, Mrs K O’Donovan, Miss E Savage, Mrs C Scott, Mr P Stubley, Mrs H Thrift, Dr J Woudstra. Apologies for absence: Dr T Baycroft, Ms L Bleach, Dr P Booth, Dr V Brack, Dr D Divjak, Ms M Freeman, Professor M Goergen, Dr S Mateut, Dr A Morris, Professor P Quick, Dr C Pearce, Professor S Vice, Mr S Walker, Dr G Waylen, Professor P White, Dr R Woolley. 1. Minutes of previous meeting The minutes were approved as an accurate record. 2. Matters arising There were no issues that would not be covered elsewhere on the agenda. 3. Report from the Director of Library Services Mr Lewis reported that the latest round of Capital Works funding from HEFCE had recently been announced. The University was expected to receive something in the region of £57M to be spent over a three year period from 2008 to 2011. The Library was hoping to be granted an allocation to allow for the continued refurbishment of the Western Bank Library (WBL). The University’s Capital Review Group (chaired by Professor D Shellard) was due to report in the next month to the Estates Strategy Advisory Group, after which the projects to be supported and their allocations would be confirmed. No decision had yet been reported to the Library on the state of its budget for 2008-09. Some indications as to the levels of funding may be available by the time of the next meeting of LUG but are unlikely to be confirmed until after the meeting of Finance committee in June. The Library was currently exploring how it might work with the new faculties in the University’s revised structure. It hoped to identify opportunities for strategic discussion and views on the Library’s expenditure and services. Update on Changing The Shape programme and works to Western Bank Library. Mrs O’Donovan presented information about a number of refurbishment projects that would take place in the coming months. These included the re-roofing works; the refurbishment of PC Cluster 1; the conversion of the ex-Short Loan area into offices for Customer Services staff and Academic Liaison Librarians; the removal of some offices from the gallery level to give space back to study places; refurbishment of the central staircase, and of the main entrance lobby. Members were informed that the stock from the Crookesmoor Library had now been integrated into WBL and that a launch for the new front-of-house space for the National Fairground Archive had taken place in December. Books and journals from the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT) collection had been relocated to the IC and WBL over the summer. Items from NATCECT’s special collections and archives will be moved into WBL shortly. The installation of the new compact shelving on Stack 1 was almost complete. It was anticipated that Special Collections would now need to close for three weeks to focus on the movement of their materials into the new facility. If any members had any concerns or questions over this closure, they were asked to contact the Head of Special Collections, Jacky Hodgson. There would be a continued programme of stock relocation and consolidation within the WBL over summer ’08 including the return of the journals currently in storage. The timescale for the closure of the Music Library and departmental libraries would be dependent upon the completion of the new accommodation for those departments. 4. A Year in the Life of the Information Commons. Alex Hunt, Information Commons manager, gave a presentation on the first twelve months of the IC. She presented statistics about the capacity and opening hours of the building; described some of the highlights of the first year, and gave examples of some of the special features. Since its opening, a number of service developments have been undertaken. These include: the identification of an additional ‘silent’ study area with PCs, on level 5; a decision to allow the use of laptops on the upper level (level 30 or the existing Silent Study Space; the inclusion of a prayer room; a booking system for both pcs and group rooms within the building; a second information desk (on level 1); the provision of huddle boards and copy cams to help with group study work; teaching spaces, and an increase in the opening hours of the café. Members were given information about occupancy levels and entry level statistics which showed that the building was being heavily used, with very few quiet periods, even taking into account the Christmas vacation period. A short video was played showing direct feedback from students on their opinions of the building and its facilities, along with a number of comments from both students and visitors from other HE institutions describing their impressions. Finally, some details were presented on what events are planned for the coming year. Dr Cambray-Deakin asked which level of students were most using the building. Whilst the undergraduate usage was high, as intended, it was added that postgraduates and researchers were also making significant use, particularly during the vacations. It was felt that they were being attracted by the pleasant study environment and the availability of the group study rooms. A project group had been set up to take forward the evaluation of the IC and to consider these types of issues. The Library would look into the possibility of reporting by level of student, and would make some information available for the next meeting. The initial teething problems with the climate control had now been resolved and there had been no further problems with the internal conditions. Dr Deacon asked about the management of the stock as new materials were purchased in the future. It was explained that the Library did not expect the overall stock capacity to increase a great deal about the current 100,000 volumes. The collection would be actively managed, through close liaison with academic departments, to ensure that the least appropriate materials were moved out to make way for any new stock. Mr Lewis expressed his thanks and congratulations to Alex Hunt and all the IC team for their work in making the building such a success. 6. Any other business The group was informed that the latest edition of Library News would be circulated shortly. When asked for preferred dates, days and times for future meetings of the group, it was agreed that it would be helpful to alternate the day of the week on which the meetings were held. Date of next meeting Tuesday 29th April 2008, 14.15.