A visit to @UWSAyr / SAC Riverside Campus

9 Jul

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Having, as described in my previous post, recently presided over the closure of a library, it was nice to get the chance to visit one which has recently opened. Last summer, the University of the West of Scotland and the Scottish Agricultural College co-located their Ayr campuses on a riverside site. The library is run jointly by the two institutions and my friend, Elaine Muir, Head of Library Services for SAC, invited me down for lunch and a tour.

The campus is easy to get to, a short walk along the river from the railway station. This approach, shown above, is at the back and very pleasant. The front has a large car park, but even this is quite attractive because it is broken up with grassy, meadow-like areas. The entrance to the library is on a bridge over the atrium:

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Underneath is the canteen, so it’s very handy for food!

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Everything is very clean and bright looking with orange being the colourful theme for the library:

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There were several spacious discussion / seminar rooms with projection facilities for students to use:

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We also toured the rest of the building and it was all of similar standard. If I have any criticism it would be that, despite the colourful furniture, the walls in all areas are clinical white which feels a bit cold and means it’s very hard to orient yourself in the teaching corridors because they all look the same. I also think there could be more signposting on arrival – I didn’t notice any direction boards telling you what was where. My final thought is that, although it was hard to get a true sense of the place because it was vacation and there were very few students around, the library seemed to me be a good advertisement for shared services. Maybe this is somewhere to consider for a future #GLTU visit? Or alternatively, a talk from UWS / SAC representatives on running a joint library?

PS August 2012, for an article on planning a joint service by Neal Buchanan of UWS and Elaine Muir of SAC, see SCONUL Focus Issue 55

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