Here at Lorensbergs, we’ve been working closely with public libraries to prepare for some bold and awe-inspiring projects. New buildings, refurbishments and extensive renovations have all featured throughout nearly 20 years of successful partnership working. With every library project, getting the digital services right for library users and staff is hugely important, and we’re pleased to offer our support. Here we take pleasure in sharing with you some of the more recent highlights of what our netloan library customers have achieved.
Of course, one of the best parts of working with libraries is having the opportunity to visit so many wonderful buildings. In many cases, we've also been fortunate to have the new or 'relaunched' libraries host user groups for our customers in the region, enabling us all to experience first-hand the facilities and ambience of each building.
We begin our post here with the recently refurbished Oxford Central Library, which has reopened with some exciting new digital facilities.
Oxford Central Library
Oxford Central Library reopened at the entrance of the new Westgate Shopping Centre in December 2017. Already the third busiest in the UK, the library is set to attract even greater footfall, following the £440 million Westgate redevelopment. A new digital technology area is a key feature of the new library layout.
The library increased its PC provision for the reopening by 25 terminals to provide a total of 70 computers, helping to meet customer demand for getting online in the library. Netloan PC booking is used to control and manage PC access throughout the new library and the wider library authority. The additional terminals and demand for PC time has led the library to double the daily session allowance, from one to two hours. New comfortable seating and power sockets are also encouraging more visitors to make use of the library Wi-Fi and other facilities.
Watford Central Library, Hertfordshire
Watford Library was refurbished over 2016 with the library kept open during this time. It’s been described by staff as a diverse and exciting place to work in and visit.
Throughout the building, PC booking and printing and wireless printing is managed by netloan. Self-service PC and print payment transactions are facilitated through netloan integration on Bibliotheca kiosks. A CreatorSpace, part of the makerspace movement, has been introduced and offers users access to digital technology including digital sewing machines and a 3D printer.
In the library and at other branches, Hertfordshire Libraries offer 60-90 minute taster sessions which are charged at £10. During this time staff provide support on using PCs, devices, digital embroidery and sewing machines. They are looking to introduce further technologies to the setting, including animation equipment and a music console. A library café has also recently opened.
Lorensbergs is delighted that Watford Library hosted the netloan user group for South East and London last November, giving our customers the opportunity for a library tour. The photo above shows some of our customers during the CreatorSpace part of the tour.
Beeston Library, Nottinghamshire
The newly refurbished Beeston Library was closed for 9 months and reopened its doors in August 2017, three weeks earlier than planned. The £1.2m budget for the refurbishment included extensive building renovation, a new performance space, new meeting rooms and a Discovery Room – their first makerspace. Netloan PC booking software provides session management, authentication and reporting across both computers and Wi-Fi at Nottinghamshire.
The refurbishment has been considered a huge success with lots of positive feedback. Visitors have risen from 12,000 a month to 20,000 and book issues have more than doubled. It’s the 4th ‘strategic library’ for Inspire Nottinghamshire.
A partnership with Adult Community Learning means the building is used for their programmes. They are also working increasingly with local schools.
Beeston Library’s facilities made it the perfect location for the 2017 Northern and Midlands netloan user group as shown in the photo above.
Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Gallery, Fife
The multiple award winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Gallery originally opened its doors in 1883. It is the world’s first Carnegie Library, with Dunfermline being the birthplace of its founder Andrew Carnegie. The impressive building has been transformed into the centrepiece of an already historic town, whilst keeping its charm as a grade B listed building.
It is the third renovation of the building which has a new extension housing a museum, gallery and the reference library. It has a total of 35 public access PCs managed by netloan, with Wi-Fi authentication and reporting also controlled by the netloan Wi-Fi module.
The building was closed for 3.5 years while the building works took place, reopening in May 2017. The renovation itself cost £12.4 million and uses cutting edge architectural design while retaining original fixtures and parts of the building to create a great atmosphere and local hub for all ages. The library's large children’s section is very popular, with staff running multiple family orientated sessions each day prompting all ages to use all of the library’s facilities. Our Scottish netloan user group attendees enjoyed their visit to the library and museum when Fife Libraries hosted the event in November 2017.
We hope you're enjoying the tour of our netloan customers' recent major library projects. Watch this blog for the next instalment in the coming weeks!