building as horrid, depressing, cold, and gray. Action had to be taken if the university was to maintain its reputation and continue to attract and retain students and staff of the highest caliber. In the summer of 2004, the refurbishment program was reinstated beginning with Levels 6 and 7 of the original 1968 building and was quite comprehensive. Changes included new air-conditioning, energy-efficient lighting, wireless technology, audio-visual alarm systems, and new carpets and furniture. Banquette seating for group activities was installed and toilet facilities for the disabled were created on each level. Reaction to the refurbishment was instantly positive and was reflected in the qualitative and quantitative LibQUAL+® results in 2005. This comment from a postgraduate from the Faculty of Arts is one example: The refurbished levels are fantastic. A comfortable environment conducive to study is very important, and it’s great… Couches on Level 9 would be a great idea for us literature students and our novels. Encouraged and enabled by the positive reactions, the library was able to secure continued annual capital investment from the university for similar projects until all 11 levels of the original 1968 building had been refurbished by 2006. This included the requested couches and the creation of Research Rooms for postgraduates, staff, and visiting academics. In 2006, Glasgow University Library was a winner of the British Building Improvement Project awarded by the Institute of Maintenance and Building Management. Other significant efforts have continued since 2006 resulting in the recognition of the importance of the library in the student learning experience based on several campus and international surveys.6 In 2007, other space needs were addressed by presenting a business case linking investment in e-journal backfiles with the release of space within the building. The goal was to create additional work places and technology access. By removing shelving and volumes of print stock, the library added more seating in an open access area, group study rooms, and IT training suites. In addition, a relaxation and refreshment area named the “Rest and Be Thoughtful” was opened. The furniture in the open access area was chosen for its flexibility and mobility.7 The most dramatic, innovative, and responsive refurbishment to date was the transformation of the Level 3 annex into a relaxed, informal learning café. The facilities include study booths for groups working on projects, round RLI 271 16 LibQUAL+® and the “Library as Place” at the University of Glasgow ( C O N T I N U E D ) AUGUST 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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