The library at the University of St Andrews has been asked to join an elite group that consists of the top research institutions in the UK and Ireland.
The library, currently undergoing a phased £14m programme of refurbishment and collections enhancement, is now a member of Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a grouping of 32 of the leading research libraries in the UK and Ireland.
The St Andrews library now joins the libraries of Russell Group universities, the British Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, UK copyright libraries (including the Library of Trinity College Dublin), the National Art Library and the Wellcome Trust Library.
The accolade comes at an important time for the library, which recently completed the first phase of a long-term comprehensive programme to modernise the library and its collections. Over four short months this summer, the library’s entrance level was transformed from its original 1970s design to a 21st Century design providing state-of-the-art academic facilities. Improvements included additional study spaces, smart self-service, new late night opening hours, a café and new furniture chosen by students themselves.
RLUK provides an important forum for the research library community of the UK and Ireland. It sponsors some of the major free online UK resources in support of research and has overseen some major digitisation activity with its partner institutions.
University Librarian & Director of Library Services John MacColl commented, “We are delighted to be joining RLUK at a significant moment in our library’s history. The recent investments will allow us to play a full part in the academic and research life of the University as it celebrates its 600th anniversary, and as it continues to achieve a high profile internationally for excellence in research and learning.
“A major objective for the library in the next few years is to provide an adequate centre for its highly-regarded special collections. Membership of RLUK will allow us to intensify our focus on special collections and research liaison work in particular, and so improve the library’s services to the University and its standing in the wider research environment.”
The redevelopment of the University Library will continue in summer 2012 with the second part of the project, which will improve levels 3 and 4, in line with phase one.
For more information on RLUK contact: David Prosser, Research Libraries UK, +44 (0)207 848 2737
Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
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Ref: (rluk 11/11/11)
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