Major new awards for University of Leicester Library

Posted by vm64 at Dec 07, 2010 11:00 AM |
The University Library commended for design and service
Major new awards for University of Leicester Library

David Wilson Library praised for exceptional design and service

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 7 December 2010

Jpeg image of the David Wilson Library available via pt91@le.ac.uk

The University of Leicester Library has added two more awards to its continuing success.

The £32 million state-of-the-art David Wilson Library, designed by Associated Architects, scooped the prestigious SCONUL Library Design Award while the library service as a whole received an accolade for Customer Service Excellence. Both awards are a significant achievement, making a powerful statement about the quality of the University Library and its services. 

The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), which promotes excellence in library services in higher education and national libraries, conferred the University of Leicester with the Library Design Award.

The prestigious award celebrates libraries that have invested in the outstanding quality of functional design. The recognition is given by other academic librarians every three years. 

The David Wilson Library is praised for the high quality design and comfort combined with the cutting edge technology.

Christine Fyfe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and University Librarian, said:

“We are thrilled that the David Wilson Library has won the SCONUL Library Design Award which recognizes the relationship between high quality library services and excellently designed space. The judging team – comprising senior university librarians - was particularly impressed with the ambience of the David Wilson Library and the ways in which the views of students and staff had informed the design, singling out the Graduate School Reading Room for special praise.” 

Ann Rossiter, Executive Director at SCONUL, said: 

“There is a very real chance that students will be required to pay significantly more for higher education in the near future. Student demands therefore regarding quality of services are only going to increase. 

“This Award shows the importance of providing these students with high quality design and comfort combined with state-of-the-art technologies. This quality of building and finish is going to become increasingly common. 

“Libraries form an important part of a university’s offer and can be the difference between high and low levels of student satisfaction. Leicester's building and student facilities have helped to significantly improve student satisfaction and offer a blueprint for how university’s can take advantage of the opportunities presented to them by their libraries.” 

Sheila Cannell, chair of the judging panel said,

“Leicester’s Library is a benchmark and deserving winner, offering a beacon for quality design and scholarship in UK universities. The new space provides students with an exceptional learning environment. Importantly, it also recognises the changing demands of students. 

“We have a robust judging process for the Design Award and the panel has travelled to the four corners of the UK and Ireland to examine the candidates. We have been extremely impressed by the overall quality of library design throughout.”

Named after its principal benefactor, the David Wilson Library went through re-construction for nearly three years to keep up with the growing demand for quality services. 

The redesigned Library was opened by HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, in 2008, providing a stunning new space for learning and research and with a range of new facilities, and has won awards every year since then. The second award, for Customer Service Excellence (CSE), is a formal Government standard awarded to public services that put their customers at the core of what they do. 

The Library was successful in meeting the criteria used to test in great depth the areas that are a priority for customers, mainly delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude.

Louise Jones, Director of Library Services, said: “This award recognizes excellent service delivered by the University Library in both the David Wilson Library and the Clinical Sciences Library.  The assessment process placed emphasis on the views of  Library users and we are delighted that they have commended the commitment, enthusiasm and expertise of Library staff.’ 

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