We are pleased to say that we are becoming increasingly involved in a number of external and cultural partnerships. These partnerships are important in raising awareness of the collections and services that we have available to people outside the university. For example displaying some of our special collections items in an external exhibition, or putting on events which encourage the public to come into the library to view our archives and other materials.
One particular partnership, which Library Services has benefited from is The Liverpool Libraries Together partnership, which was re-launched earlier in the year with a new focus, new website and new image. Details of the services available to all library members are available on the Libraries Together website.
The focus now is very much on what our users: students, members of the public, researchers, visitors can access in each of the six member libraries, and how this can be done. There is an increasing emphasis on the archives and special collections held at each library and the next step is to consider how we publicise our collections to our collective audiences. Watch this space!
The partnership will still be delivering the very popular Libraries Together staff development conference, which enables staff working at the six member libraries to gain training and awareness of all the different collections contained within the member libraries. This in turn allows them to help their users and guide them in the right direction for access to particular collections.
The member organisations are:
• Liverpool City Libraries
• Liverpool John Moores University
• Liverpool Community College
• Hope University
• University of Liverpool
We have also made use of this particular partnership to organise library staff development visits to the newly refurbished Liverpool Central Library over the summer. The transformation of the building is dramatic and inspirational – the original façade has been retained but is pinned to a completely new interior space full of natural light. The Hornby Library, Oak Rooms and Picton Reading Rooms have been sensitively refurbished and the former lecture space has been converted into a very attractive children’s library. The book collections are distributed throughout the building with fiction still on the ground floor, next to the café.
We liked the low, movable shelving which provides flexibility and is well spaced to meet the needs of all users. Wi-fi is available throughout the building with bookable fixed PCs also available on most floors. The Record Office resources (many on microfiche/film) are now easily accessible on the top floor next to a very spacious Reading Room for the consultation of Special Collections and Archives. The large block at the back of the building houses the city archives and rare books in electronic compact shelving, with excellent conservation facilities in the adjacent studio. A great deal of thought has gone into the detail of the building, highlighting authors, books and other media on wall panels and on the Writers’ Pavement leading in from William Brown Street.
It’s well worth a visit to see the transformation of wonderful free resource for the people of Liverpool.