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‘Extremely popular’ library improvements support study, careers, enterprise and well-being

Suzanne Tonkin, librarian, details the many exciting updates and additions Lucy’s Library has benefitted from over the past year.

Upgraded Library spaces

Our Library has benefitted from various room and equipment upgrades over the summer and into Michaelmas term, which have resulted in a lighter, brighter and more useful lower ground floor.

The Barbara Dyer room and the new Careers and Enterprise Hub (in the old Library Lounge space) were redecorated over the summer and the lighting was also upgraded in each room.

New equipment and furniture were installed in the Careers and Enterprise Hub to support collaborative work, including:

  • Video conferencing facilities with UHD camera and audio
  • A new large interactive touchscreen monitor
  • Screen sharing technology
  • Overhead visualiser
  • A large whiteboard and two new large write-on tables

The room has proved extremely popular during its first term of use, with lots of bookings and positive feedback about the facilities.

Further equipment was also purchased for a new Practical Skills Collection housed in the Barbara Dyer room. The items were chosen with the input of Directors of Studies and include:

  • A cutting mat and lightbox for our architects
  • A handwash practice kit, various surgical instruments and suturing practice kit for Medical and Veterinary Medicine students
  • Molymod molecular model sets for NatSci students
  • An increased number of various anatomical models, cat and dog skeletons and collections of bones for Veterinary Medicine students

Human and Fox's skulls

View a gallery of the library resources here

Breakout space for up to three people has also been created in the small office off the Barbara Dyer room, which now has a large whiteboard. This has allowed this room to become breakout space and private space for Zoom calls. Additionally, the College has also invested in a much-needed “Zoom booth” for the lobby area outside the Careers and Enterprise Hub; the booth is soundproofed with its own lighting and ventilation and allows quiet private space for Zoom calls.

Other changes include the creation of a dedicated careers area in the foyer with the purchase of acoustic boards to partition the space. Housed here are a collection of printed careers books and guides from the University Careers Service, a careers noticeboard and a PC installed with Handshake on its homepage.

Finally, we’ve also included simple but effective changes, such as incorporating a large study table in the foyer which has proved popular for both individual and informal group study. We also moved the Study Skills and Wellbeing book collections to space in the foyer where they can be more easily found by our students.

Library books for offer-holders

A donation from the Chadwyck-Healey Charitable Trust supported the establishment of a new collection of introductory books for incoming students. An initial group of 30 students were identified by the Admissions Office as potential beneficiaries of the service and these students were contacted by the Library with details of how to access their subject’s preparatory reading list and an offer to purchase and post up to two items from each list to the student’s home address.

Library books for offer-holders

This offer was then extended to all state school students once places were confirmed in August and some 59 books were posted out to students in advance of their arrival in Cambridge.

Feedback from those who took up the offer has been roundly positive:

 “As someone who wouldn’t have easily had the funds to buy these books, I would like to express how much I appreciate this!”

 “I would greatly appreciate some paper copies of books to read before term starts as I have been struggling to find a lot of them cheaply”

” Thank you so much for this service!”

Read more about our library here