Library Director's introduction
At the heart of the Library’s vision and purpose is our commitment to provide inspiring learning spaces and to transform how information can be discovered, used, created and shared. Working closely with UOW students and University representatives, Library spaces were reimagined to provide greater flexibility and choice for study spaces and to showcase collections.
The second wave of design and development focused on Level 1 and the further development of the Ground Floor. The design concept was influenced by a number of factors, including researching global trends on the future-readiness of academic libraries – their purpose, identity and design; evaluating recommendations arising from the 2017 McKinnon-Walker International Study Tour Report; assessing feedback received via surveys and other feedback channels. The project was guided by a Steering Group representing the Library, Learning Teaching and Curriculum, IMTS, Student Services Division and students. Students were regularly consulted and they were enthusiastic in their responses, clearly noting their preferences for design features, equipment and fit-out.
A commitment to environmental sustainability will ensure abundant natural light, improved light, thermal comfort and air quality including the use of plants. Users of the Library will experience enhanced campus views and connectedness with the campus surroundings, as well as communal spaces that foster a sense of inclusion, community and belonging.
Integral to the plan was the relocation of some of the print collections to off-site storage to release much needed spaces. The books that remain will be reconfigured and showcase the collections – study spaces will be immersed in the collections rather than situated on the fringe and importantly to improve accessibility with reduced shelving heights and improved lighting.
Core to our vision for the Future-Ready Library is the modernisation of systems and essential platforms. With success in securing funding, the adoption of two major systems are on the horizon and will transform our approach to service, discovery and access to the collections and research outputs of the University.
Building awareness, understanding and respect for Indigenous knowledges has been enabled through participation in a Jindaola grant funded initiative. Extending through and beyond the Project Team, the Jindaola journey is building and shaping authentic, meaningful, respectful and appropriate integration of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives into the Library way. This is a complex journey of exploration; unlike any other undertaken and essential for building and fostering relationships with Elders and knowledge holders and embedding appropriate Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in our practice.
In many ways, this year has been one of fostering preparedness for new, improved and transformational working. Our team is ably demonstrating their commitment to a Digital-First and agile mindset – you’ll see how their skill, initiative and professional knowledge have influenced the outcomes highlighted in this review.