May 17 2019

In recent weeks, there’s been a more than usual number of external visitors using our Library; including A-level students from local colleges. Although we have a policy of open access, we’re clear that you have priority for study spaces.

To address this issue, Library staff have worked closely with students and the Students' Union to ensure that our study spaces are available for our students.

Various measures taken include:

  • Direct communications with local schools and colleges confirming that our priority is for our students and that their students cannot use the Library during this busy period. Schools and colleges have accepted this and have conveyed this information to their students.
  • Commitment of Library staff to manage the space, to deal with concerns of students in various ways, in particular through our study space assistant (SpaceMan) and colleagues, through social media, signage, and the launch of the annual Library@ scheme, showing availability of other study spaces across the College.

In cases of noise or disturbance reported by students, Library staff have responded and intervened.  As the pressure of space has grown, especially over the May Bank Holiday weekend, and after consultation with Jack O 'Neill, a more direct approach has been taken by approaching students believed to be A-level students and asking them to leave.

We now have almost 1400 study spaces in the Library and together with our student body want to provide the best possible environment. It is our intention to continue to work together to ensure we can address this unprecedented issue of external users. One action will be the activation of the access gates.

We will also work with you to address associated matters of tidiness, litter and cleanliness. Extra cleaning has been provided during May and is having some impact.

We recognise that in a large 24/7 building we cannot solve every matter immediately. We will respond as quickly as possible to concerns you raise, and we will work collectively to generate ideas and solutions to deliver study spaces that meet the broad range of needs expressed right at the outset of planning the new Library.