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The Andersonian Library

27 Jan 2012

The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is Scotland’s third largest University. It was first founded in 1796 as Anderson’s Institution and underwent several name changes until in 1964 it was named The University of Strathclyde.

The Andersonian Library is the main library of the University of Strathclyde, and has been situated in the Curran Building since 1981. Formerly the print works for the Collins publishing house, the building boasts strong floors on each level, which would have been required to support the weight of the printing machines in their day. For many years the burgeoning numbers of both students and book stock has put increasing pressure on space within the library. With the proposed integration of the two university campuses in 2012 and the requirement for the Andersonian Library to absorb the stock and staff of the Jordanhill campus library into its existing space, a radical solution had to be found to enable the integration. The reconfigured space would be required to accommodate approximately one million volumes and the University Archives, whilst also providing an enhanced study environment for the library user, with group study rooms, a significant number of computers & Wi-Fi enabled areas, improved zoning for quiet study or relaxation, and functional workspace for staff and service delivery.Impressed with Qubiqa’s track record in helping other UK University

Subsequent to the appointment of Qubiqa as the successful supplier, monthly meetings were held on site and the layout was refined further through ongoing discussion with the Library staff. It was agreed that the Qubiqa mobile shelving would provide the best space saving solution for the Library, by being consolidated on level 1, where it would enable the entire serials and bibliographies collection to be focused, along with more specialist collections such as Government Publications, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and company reports. The first phase of the contract involved dismantling all existing level 1 cantilever library shelving, and decanting the books whilst the whole of the Level 1 area underwent a complete upgrade which included new ductwork, furniture, lighting and carpets. The Electronic SHADE E9000 was arranged in 3 main banks with seating in between. In total over 15km of Electronic mobile shelving was supplied. All of the runs are either 11m or 12m long and whilst this may not seem the ideal length for live access, in practice this works very well as there is a maximum of only 5 mobile items per run, with many runs having only 3 mobiles so there are always plenty of access aisles available. The client utilised Qubiqa’s standard 1020mm shelf which gives a clear useable distance of 1000mm between uprights, to maximise capacity. To assist all users, especially those who may be partially sighted, Qubiqa’s Integral Lighting was also installed on top of the mobile items.

This extends over an open aisle and in this case was required to give 200Lux at floor level. To save energy these can be programmed to switch off after period of predetermined inactivity.

The University retrospectively installed high security Transponder Swipe Cards within one of the mobile blocks, which houses some closed access specialist collections. Access requires the member of staff to utilize the security card in order to unlock the selected row of shelving.

The new installation has proved a resounding success with both staff and users alike and has helped enormously in relieving the pressure on space within the Library. Michael Roberts the Assistant Director of Information Services commented:
“The mobiles were installed in a professional manner. Aesthetically they co-ordinate well with the white surfaces of the adjacent seating areas to give an impressive contemporary, high-tech and practical effect to an area of Library accommodation that had come to look rather dated.”

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