Tuesday, July 26, 2011
King’s College Maughan Library
King’s College Maughan Library opened in the current building in 2001 but has a long, prestigious history that dates back to 1829. The current building was the building for the public records office and was the first fire proof building. Since the building was mostly closed to the public while it was the public records office, the library had to make the building more accessible for shelf browsing. This proved to be difficult since the building is leased by the library and it had to get approval from the owners and building preservation organizations before anything could be done. Restrictions were placed on the library to what they could do to the building. Working with these restrictions, the library has placed signs at the end of shelves and grouped materials by genre.
The library has 1,000 reading rooms, 1,300 computer places, 750,000 items and volumes, and serves about 11,000 students during term. Materials are mainly from humanities, law, and sciences with medical resources being located at other King’s College libraries. The library also contains DVD and audio materials along with a keyboard that can be used. During the term the library is open seven days a week and 24/7 around exam weeks. The library has also installed self service machines that provide the opportunity for the user to check-in or check-out materials at their convenience.
The special collections’ strength is on travel and discovery. The oldest documents date back to the 1490s. Some of the materials that we were shown included a book by Florence Nightingale, a Pennsylvania Charter that has annotations from Benjamin Franklin, and a Holocaust collection that includes lithographs done by a concentration camp inmate. These materials were really interesting and yet again we were allowed to actually touch the materials.
I enjoyed touring this library and seeing how they have implemented different programs to benefit the user. Self service machines seem to be really popular and if used correctly can allow librarians to help users with more difficult questions. I liked how this library has so many computer spaces and study rooms throughout the building. This seems to makes it more convenient for study and research.