National awards for Newcastle University campus and library

Students are being put in the driving seat when it comes to stocking Newcastle University library – a scheme which has helped win a prestigious national award. 

In answer to requests for more books, a wider range of books and easier access to core texts Newcastle University library has been using technology to ensure students can get the books they want, when they want.

Using the EBook Library students find books they want to look at, have a free browsing period of five minutes, and are then given the option to ‘borrow’ the book. If they choose this option, the Library provides an electronic loan within 24 hours. The book can then be borrowed for up to a week.

Once the e-book has been borrowed five times, it is automatically purchased and added to the Library’s permanent collection. From then on, it can be accessed by any number of students at any time.

Lil Collingham, Students' Union education officer, commented: 'We have welcomed the opportunity to work with Library staff this year. Students have already reaped the benefits thanks to the Library’s continued commitment to improving its services in direct response to student demand.'

The scheme is one of the reasons that the library has won 'Outstanding Library Team' in the THE Leadership and Management Awards 2011.

Meanwhile, the University also won 'Outstanding Estates Team' in the awards.

Judges were impressed at the work to improve the campus including the King’s Gate and Baddiley-Clarke buildings and particularly the refurbished laboratories. They noted the efforts to design buildings that were student and staff-friendly and that helped towards the wider regeneration of the city.

Initiatives to improve the sustainability of the campus were also recognized including the 93 per cent recycling rate for general waste.  Even while University numbers have expanded the team has helped reduce energy consumption per member of staff and student by 16 per cent.

Judge, Patrick Finch from the University of Bristol said: 'We were impressed by the clear strategic focus of the Newcastle estates team in rationalizing and revitalising the University estate achieving some very impressive results in space utilisation, carbon reduction and condition and suitability along the way.'

A million pounds a year is being invested in transforming the campus environment including such schemes as the Old Quad which has allowed full accessibility and a space for students and staff to enjoy.

A full list of winners is available on the Times Higher website.

published on: 4th July 2011