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Information Scotland

The Journal of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

ISSN 1743-5471

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June 2003 Volume 1 (3)

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

New library

Fit for the future

In this its centenary year, Springburn Library in Glasgow relocated to Springburn Leisure Centre. The response from the local community has been very encouraging and exciting.

The old Springburn Library was in extremely poor condition. It was suffering from both rot and water penetration and would have required significant capital investment (more than £1million) before any internal refurbishment or upgrade was carried out. And this still would not have tackled the issue of its poor location, no longer at the heart of the community, or of the poor performance of the facility.

Public views were sought on the proposal to relocate the library to Springburn Leisure Centre and the majority of those who responded were in agreement.

A welcoming, innovative environment

Springburn Leisure Centre is an innovative concept which builds on the experiences of other integrated facilities. The £1.9 million refurbishment houses a state-of-the-art library, with high-tech learning centre, the Springburn Museum and a new fitness suite and refurbished leisure centre. The museum, with the assistance of the Open Museum has been put together by volunteers and tells the story of Springburn. Volunteers will work with the library and museum to develop local history.

The Civic Design Team led the development of the building and Curious Oranj, the award winning design company, were contracted to develop the new library and learning centre. Demco Interiors were responsible for the shelving on the ground floor and the furniture for the children's area.

The new building occupies a prime location at the head of the main shopping centre and the large glass front allows the people passing by to see in. The library appears as a beacon of light and activity in the evenings, helping to heighten awareness of opportunities for involvement.

New ways of working are being developed at Springburn. Visitors are welcomed at the main reception desk in the foyer by staff from libraries and sports working to provide an integrated service. To encourage maximum interaction, staff are not seated but move freely between the main reception and the library.

A book drop at the main reception desk ensures quick through-access, and colour-coded signage and clean crisp titling aid access within the library. On entering the library Express Display Units and self-service check are very much to the fore bringing material to the attention in a retail style, encouraging users to browse and try something different.

A rather striking issue point can be opened as demand requires and fabulous red leather soft seating placed around the library encourages customers to linger, relax and take time-out. Face-out display has been used extensively to maximize our main product's most engaging feature - its front cover. This entices users to pick-up - and to borrow.

A discrete area for young adults features casual soft seating beside magazines and graphic novels. The vibrant children's zone uses primary reds and yellows complemented by zingy wall graphics to attract young eyes and two dedicated PCs engage young minds.

Books, newspapers, audio and large-print books, materials for community language speakers and local history material all complement a dynamic reader development programme.

The REAL Learning Centre

The REAL Learning Centre is accessed from the main reception desk by lift or stairs. As it overlooks the fitness suite and plays host to the museum, it thus neatly integrates library, sport and museum in a visually exciting space. Video, DVD and CD hire operate from the learning centre providing a link to lending on the ground floor.

The state-of-the-art REAL learning centre is a far cry from the one PC available in the former library. With 22 multimedia PCs, online learning, tutor-led courses, a range of software and free access to the internet, Springburn Library is indeed fit for the future and the challenges of the 21st Century.

The Leisure Centre was officially launched in June by Councillor John Lynch, Convener of Cultural and Leisure Services. Please come and visit us in our new location. Like the people of Springburn I know you'll be very excited about our new Library and Learning Centre - help us spread the good news.

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Information Scotland Vol.1 (3) June 2003

© Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

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Last updated: 13 February 2004