Library of the Week: 10th July : This week we speak to Emma Halford-Busby – Communications and Digital Content Manager at the University of Nottingham Libraries – thank you for taking part!
University of Nottingham Libraries is a large department of over 200 staff who bring together expertise in content and discovery, customer services, learning technologies, research support, strategy and planning, teaching and learning, manuscripts and special collections and more.
We sit at the heart of the University and provide a wide range of services, support and spaces not just through our buildings and physical collections but also our online resources and technologies.
Welcoming and inclusive
In all our work, we commit to putting students and staff at the heart of everything we do and actively seek, and respond to, feedback from the student and academic communities.
We work with students and staff across the university to host events, source feedback and develop collections to be more inclusive – with book suggestions from the university community helping to further develop and diversify our collections and build our LGBTQIA+, Black History and Disability Recognition month reading lists.
As a department, we aim to be a diverse and inclusive community where every person is welcome and valued. In Spring 2021, Libraries set up its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) programme, with the aim of improving the experience of staff and building a better working environment and culture for all Libraries staff.
Each library contains a range of subject-specific resources but are open to the university community, external members and visitors.
October 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of our Arts and Social Sciences library, Hallward. Originally called the University Library when it opened in October 1963, it was renamed Hallward Library in October 1989 in honour of the University’s first Vice-Chancellor Bertrand Hallward.
In 2021, we became one of the first universities in the country to provide accredited researchers with access to secure datasets, with the installation of a SafePod in Hallward Library (part of the wider UK SafePod Network funded by UKRI’s Economic and Social Research Council). In providing secure local access for researchers, SafePods create greater opportunity for innovative research to be carried out using these datasets.
Just down the hill from Hallward on University Park, lies our Science and Engineering library, George Green. Originally opened in 1964, the library underwent major expansion and refurbishment works from 2013 – 2016 transforming it into a modern library popular with students across the university.
Our other six libraries include Djanogly Learning Resource Centre, a striking circular building situated on the lake at Jubilee Campus and our Manuscripts and Special Collections Reading Room at King’s Meadow Campus (which used to be Central TV studios).
Across our libraries, we work to provide students with the facilities and spaces they need with over 5,000 study spaces (including assistive technology rooms and calm spaces), three kitchenettes, two cafes, and our popular games zones which help students to take a break and unwind.
Our collections and materials
Our physical and digital library collection contains almost a million print books, 300,000 ebooks, 300,000+ historical online books and texts, and 180,000 journal titles as well as digital newspapers and audio-video materials such as film, TV and theatre recordings.
Our Manuscripts and Special Collections department has been actively collecting material for almost a century with over 3.5 million records in over 800 collections, including the papers of leading Nottinghamshire families and their estates, the papers of political, diplomatic, literary, scientific and academic figures, including D.H. Lawrence.
We are also home to a number of named special collections of rare books and published works including collections relating to 18th to 19th century drama, children’s educational literature, the history of medicine, Icelandic literature and the French Revolution.
Our free to visit Museum holds a collection of mainly regional archaeology covering a 250,000 year period, with smaller collections from Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. In 2022, the Museum partnered with the British Museum to host the touring exhibition, Ancient Iraq: New Discoveries.
Supporting our community
Our Library staff are a source of expertise and support for staff and students across the university on a wide range of topics from getting started with using the library and support with using teaching and learning technologies to publishing your research and much more.
We’re committed to fostering community in our libraries – both in-person and digitally. In 2023, we started running regular in-person Refuel sessions in our libraries. Students were welcome to pop along for a free hot drink and snack and the opportunity to meet other students and talk to staff.
Since the pandemic we have been running weekly online Study With Us sessions. Hosted by our Learning Development team, these sessions help students find their focus and talk to other students.
Thanks for reading – we hope you have found our blog interesting. If you want to find out more about University of Nottingham Libraries please visit our website or follow @UoNLibraries on twitter or Instagram.
Emma Halford-Busby – Communications and Digital Content Manager
All images copyright of the University of Nottingham, reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holder.