#GLTU9 review: City of Glasgow College 23/5/13

24 May

Twenty members of GLTU and / or SALCTG met on Thursday afternoon at City of Glasgow College Library for a tour by Librarian Tony Donnelly. The College was formed when Central College, Glasgow Metropolitan College and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies merged on 1st September 2010, and the library has been extensively refurbished, Level 1 in 2007 and Level 2 in 2012. It was interesting to see the changes in thinking between the two – Level 1 was attractive but felt more like a traditional library with separate IT suite. Level 2 was a more open and integrated space. Rather than describe everything, here are some of the things that struck me:

  1. Tony himself! He kept us interested throughout and his passion for the library shone through.
  2. The best money you can spend is on good design – preferably design that doesn’t look like design.
  3. Level 1 was project managed by Estates and was 3 months late. Level 2 was project managed by a librarian. It was one year in planning, nine weeks in execution and finished on time and on budget. Keep as close to the project management as you can.
  4. Invest in good materials and students will respect them. Expensive easy chairs were still in good condition six years later.
  5. Keep soft seating areas where you can see them and they will not become “rogues corners”. The library does not have behavioural problems. On Level 1, there was a comfortable area in front of the desk big enough to take all of our group. On Level 2 there were the “lily pads” (see pictures). These areas are also great for informal inductions.
  6. The artwork on walls and shelf-ends was attractive. There were also four sculptures created for the library in a competition for stonemasonry students, a great way to utilise in-house talent.
  7. Simple ideas that work! The cutting table – standing height with a suitable surface and all the equipment needed such as paper-cutters and staplers. The branded card wallet containing credit-card sized leaflets on the library and ICT services (and an extra space for a train or subway ticket).

I had to rush away at the end to attend another meeting, but most of the group were still there asking questions. This was the first visit arranged jointly between GLTU and SALCTG and it seemed to work out well in terms of attendance, and everyone seemed to find a lot to interest them. The photos below were taken by me except the first three on the bottom row which are used by permission of, and with thanks to, Erika Jagielko (@ErikaHeather). Donna Nicholson Arnott (@bookpluscoffee) has written an excellent account of the visit on her blog – thanks to her too. If anyone else has anything to add – pictures or blog posts – please let me know so that I can link them in.

One Response to “#GLTU9 review: City of Glasgow College 23/5/13”


  1. Visit to City of Glasgow College Library | A new library world -

    […] IT suite. Level 2 was a more open and integrated space. For more information and pictures, see the GLTU blog. The SALCTG blog also has some feedback from […]


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