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Moving LSE Library – twice!

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  1. Moving LSE Library – twice! Maureen Wade Head of Library Services LSE 15 December 2008

  2. LSE Library redevelopment • 1916 building (headquarters of WH Smith) • 1978 LSE purchased for Library • 1994 Feasibility study by Foster & Partners • Fund-raising from government bodies and individual donors • June 1998 project manager & architects appointed • April 1999 LSE agreed to proceed

  3. Aims of redevelopment • Provide modern research and learning environment with enhanced IT • Re-design circulation around the building • Provide expansion space for Library materials • Improve storage and environmental conditions

  4. Building features • Library and Research Lab covering 20,000 sq m • New-build 5th floor plus 8% increase in floor area • Central atrium with spiral stepped ramp and two glass lifts • Glazed north-facing dome

  5. Building features • Double-height lower ground floor space • Computer-controlled natural ventilation using central atrium • Presence-detection lighting • Staff offices stacked vertically with goods lift and loading bay

  6. Services and facilities • 1600 study places, including 490 IT spaces and 220 laptop points • Service points on three floors • IT Training rooms & group study rooms • Course Collection for LSE students • 50 kilometre of shelving

  7. Four projects in one • Planning the redevelopment • Moving out – the ‘decant’ • Operating in temporary buildings for 18 months • Moving back

  8. Moving out • Work-around or decant option • Search for temporary premises • ‘The Library is closing’ – rumour spreads • Persuading the academic community

  9. The Library must not close! • Academics & students wanted access to library throughout • British Library building found 8 mins away for services & 70% of stock • Store in South London for 30% of stock • Small on-campus service for disabled users

  10. Maintaining services • During move out a fetch service operated for all stock • During building works twice-daily fetch service for 30% of stock in off-site store • Library opening hours maintained throughout • Both buildings open to users during move back

  11. Planning the book moves • Full-time member of staff to carry out planning • Measuring of all collections • Master spreadsheet with: • Current location & new location • Size • Date of move • Note of special features

  12. Finding a removal firm • Recent British Library move meant many firms had book move experience • British Library colleagues were generous with valuable advice • Detailed specification : daily targets and finish date; special requirements for archives/rare books; insurance; staff behaviour; penalty clauses

  13. The book moves • Moving 4 million items is not easy… • Each book move took 14 weeks • Target of 700 linear metres per day for main stock; 300 for archives /rare books • Time pressures • Two shifts of removal teams 6am to 10pm • Shifts of library staff to supervise moves

  14. Chronology • June-Sept 1999 book move out • Sept 1999–May 2001 - in temporary building • Jan-Feb 2001 stock moved back from store • March – May 2001 remaining stock moved • March 2001 new building opened • March – May 2001 Library open in both buildings

  15. Communication with library users • Communication plan throughout the redevelopment • Reassurance that access to books and services would be maintained • Information for specific groups eg Masters students; summer schools • Detailed information on availability of stock during book moves

  16. Book move database • Web interface linked to master database for book moves • Database updated daily • Location for each collection: • Old location • In transit (unavailable for max 3 days) • New location

  17. Lessons learned • Planning, planning, planning! • Start planning early; eg measuring stock • Allocate extra staff resources to book move planning and supervision • Communicate, communicate, communicate! • Users can put up with a lot if they know what’s happening….

  18. Questions?