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About the Library


Strategic Framework

The Library's Strategic Framework describes 'who' the Library is: our purpose as a service for the University and wider community, the areas in which we prioritise our activities and resources, and the values which underpin the way we work with each other and with colleagues beyond the Library to support the University's strategic goals.

Comment and feedback on the framework and how we match up to our aspirations is welcome in person or by using our feedback form.

Robin Green, University Librarian
January 2016

Statistics and arrangement

  • The University Library and Modern Records Centre hold c. 1 million printed volumes and just over 14 kilometres of archives. There is also a small research-only collection in the Mathematics Department
  • The Library has over 30,000 registered customers and employs around 150 (c.125 full time equivalent) staff
  • Over 29,000 items are accessioned each year. Over 53,000 electronic journals are currently received, 205,000 electronic books and 480 databases (full-text, bibliographic, purchased, subscribed or free) that we link to from Library databases)
  • There are around 3.4m full text articles requested in 2014-15 (this is in addition to e-book access)
  • There were around 1.2m downloads from WRAP, the University’s institutional repository of research outputs, in 2014-15
  • There are 5 floors (upper floors contain specific subject areas):
  • Floor 1: general services and Short Loan Collection, a collection of heavy-use material
  • Floor 2: Sciences
  • Floor 3: Arts
  • Floor 4: Education, Law, Statistics and Official Publications,
  • Floor 5: Social Sciences
  • All floors have study seating. We also have two silent study rooms, informal group study areas with open access PCs, smartboards and other interactive learning resources, also the Wolfson Research Exchange, and the Wolfson postgraduate-only computer cluster
  • A controlled entry policy operates, with turnstiles triggered by the University ID Card, in order to give priority for use of facilities to members of the University
  • There are in excess of 2 million entries to the Library in a year, with around 6,000-8,000 coming through the Main Library gates during a typical term weekday

Organisational structure

Structure chart  (Library contacts also available). Please note: The Library has implemented a new structure with effect from 29th September 2014. The information below will be updated shortly to fully reflect all the changes. Division details have been modified to reflect the changes to be implemented for the purpose of recruitment.

The primary structure comprises: Academic Services, providing subject support, development and responsibility for the Grids and the Wolfson Research Exchange and Modern Records Centre; Client Services providing customer support, procurement of library materials and resources, circulation, collection development, resource delivery service; Scholarly Communications, which includes digital services, systems and development, the Warwick Research Archive Project.

Extended Management Team

The Extended Management Team comprises the heads of each division and other senior managers from key Library services. The team advises the Librarian on matters relating to the strategic development, planning and management of the Library and its services.

In addition, working groups involving all levels of staff are formed as required to carry out projects.

Services and facilities

For most of the year the Library is open 7 days a week (Monday to Friday 7.30am-midnight, Saturday and Sunday 8.30am-midnight), for 113.5 hours per week. This is increased to 24 hour opening during the exam period. To help Library customers there are guides, plans and signs covering the whole building. Detailed guides are produced for Subject Floors, for specific subject areas and for specific groups of customers such as part-time and international students. There are also guides to the Library Catalogue and individual databases. There is a Floor 1 Help Desk, which supports basic enquiries. There are photocopiers and printers available at various points thoughout the Library.

The Wolfson Research Exchange A dedicated space for postgraduate researchers located on the 3rd floor extension of the main library, the Research Exchange offers a variety of space to enable researchers to work collaboratively, innovatively and individually. There are 3 bookable seminar rooms available for workshops, presentations, skills training, departmental inductions or other activities related to your research community.

The Learning Grid is a development occupying a space of about 1350 square metres on 2 floors in University House, with capacity for approximately 300 students. It is managed by the Library and is open 24x7 only closing on Christmas Day.

The facility provides an exciting, innovative, integrated, flexible space that supports students by facilitating independent learning in new and changing ways. It, for instance, supports individual study, group problem-solving activities, team working and presentation work, including an emphasis on facilitating the development and delivery of student presentations and supporting students in the use of digital multi-media for their assignments.

The Learning Grid Leamington is located in the Town Hall in Leamington Spa and is smaller alternative study space for students living in Leamington. There is a range of spaces for independent study, including some with computers and others for laptop use. There is also a bookable group study room. A proportion of the individual spaces can be booked online by undergraduates and taught postgraduate students.

The Learning Grid Rootes opened in May 2013 and is located close to student accommodation. The Learning Grid Rootes is a study space focussing on collaboration and innovation in learning. Following the Learning Grid model and staffed by the Community Engagement Team, it offers peer to peer support, multimedia resources and bookable group study rooms.

The Biomed Grid is a based on the Gibbet Hill Campus of the University of Warwick. It is a smaller facility than the central Learning Grid specifically tailored to the needs of Biological Sciences and Medical Students.

The Teaching Grid service provides accessible, collaborative support for all staff involved in teaching or training practice at the University of Warwick. Working in collaboration with key university partners - the Learning Development Centre, e-lab, the Reinvention Centre, CAPITAL Centre, Teaching Quality Unit, skills services and Library subject specialists - the Teaching Grid furthers the University strategy to develop outstanding and innovative teaching at Warwick.

The Postgraduate Hub provides a multipurpose dedicated area for all postgraduate students at Warwick. It is located outside of the Library in Senate House and there are a number of collaborative working areas (all bookable), meeting and social spaces, as well as a computer suite with its own printing facility. The space was created and developed as part of Warwick's continued investment in the postgraduate student experience.

The Library and IT

The Library’s website provides information about collections, services and staff, as well as links to Encore (the Library’s online catalogue), databases, full-text electronic journals/books and other information sources relevant to teaching and research at the University.

  • Our internet-based databases, journals and e-books are available to Warwick staff and students
  • We encourage enquiries by email to specific services and to individual Library staff from on and off campus
  • Notifications of overdue books, reservations awaiting collection, etc., are sent by email to customers with central email addresses
  • The Library has a dedicated Training Room designed for teaching students academic skills. It is a fully networked high-specification IT training facility containing 40 student computers directly linked to a tutor computer using Coursemaster equipment
  • There are public IT workareas in the main Library with over 250 open access computers

Stock and circulation

All members of the University may borrow material from the Library. Circulation services are available for much of the time the Library is open. Around 1 million books are issued/renewed each academic year.

To get books and periodicals back on the shelf and available for use as fast as possible the Library’s shelving teams work 7 days a week in shifts (from 7am to 9pm each weekday, with separate weekend timings). Apart from the busiest times material is generally shelved in less than 24 hours. Each year the equivalent of two thirds of the Library stock is reshelved.

Borrowing entitlements and loan periods depend on the status of the borrower and of the item being borrowed. They range from 15 books for 2 weeks for undergraduates to 50 books for an academic session for academic staff.

Book categories: special statuses include schools and part-time loan (for part-time students only) collections. Books and articles - copyright-cleared - in heavy demand, such as those on reading lists, are kept in the Short Loan Collection. Where possible materials are digitised as part of our course extracts service.

Books on loan can be renewed if not reserved by another user. This can be done online via My Library Account, by email/telephone, using a self-issue machine or in person at the Helpdesk on Floor 1.

Any book on loan can be recalled. Recalls can be made in person via My Library Account or by completing a reservation form for Library staff to process. Books recalled online are recalled automatically and the borrower is given one week to return the item. When recalled books are returned the reserver is sent email notifications of availability. Over 60,000 reservations are made (including more than 7,000 Short Loan reservations) in an academic year.

Books on order for Library stock can also be reserved (order information is included in Webcat). Reserved on-order books are given priority for processing on arrival.

Material not in stock in the Library can be obtained by any member of the University through Document Supply. Students must obtain a tutor's authorisation before an application can be made. The Library makes around 4,000 Document Supply requests a year.

In addition, we have Article Reach, a free service which enables current staff and students to obtain journal articles that are not held by the University of Warwick. It is made up of an international consortium of academic libraries, who agree to share certain resources with other member institutions.

Special collections and resources

The Ethnicity and Migration Collections are the combined collections of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations and the Institute of Race Relations. They are major research resources for the study of race and ethnicity, with both a UK and international focus. The Ethnicity and Migration Collections are located on the fifth floor of the Library.

Resources include:

  • UK pamphlets and grey material which includes evidence to government enquiries and community political material
  • a United States collection focusing on black history, civil rights and black power
  • an African collection focusing on colonial history and material from liberation movements
  • material on urban disturbances involving ethnic minority communities in the UK
  • historic journals such as Presence Africaine, Black Panther and Muhammad Speaks

The Official Publications section includes Stationery Office, other UK, and European official publications. The Library is a European Documentation Centre.

German Literature: the Library has the best university collection of post-1945 literature in the country. Over 2,500 authors are represented.

The Modern Records Centre is the main British repository for national archives of trade unions and employers' organisations, and also has strong collections relating to pressure groups, fringe political parties and transport.

Subject support and liaison

Academic Support Librarians and Academic Support Officers support teaching, learning and research throughout the University. Each Academic Support Librarian acts as a Library representative to a number of departments. They liaise with all members of their departments. In addition, to ensure consistency of approach most departments assign a member of academic staff to be their formal Library representative. Each faculty is represented on the Library Policy Committee, which advises on Library policy and finance.

Academic Support Librarians work closely with departments and their Library representatives, and attend Departmental and Faculty Liaison Groups/Staff-Student Liaison Committees. They disseminate information about the Library and receive news and feedback from departments, ensuring the Library is aware of and able to responds to user needs.

As well as being responsible for collection development and specialist enquiry services in their areas, Academic Support Librarians provide teaching and skills development programmes for all user groups, ranging from a general introduction to the Library for all new students to advanced training in the use of online databases and electronic journals. Introductory, follow-up and tailored sessions can be organised by departments in liaison with individual Academic Support Librarians as appropriate.

Collaboration

The Library is a member of SCONUL, the Mercian Collaboration of Midlands HE Libraries, Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and is also part of the SCONUL Access scheme. This allows many university library customers to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which also belong to the scheme.

There are reciprocal borrowing arrangements for research students and staff with all West Midlands higher education institutions (the Access West Midlands scheme) as well as the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. In addition, taught postgraduates may use Coventry University Library for reference all year round.

Responsiveness

The Library is committed to discovering and responding to the needs of its customers through formal and informal avenues.

  • We are represented at Senate and Faculty Boards and attend departmental meetings where invited
  • We are represented on the Information Policy Committee and Strategy Committee, Postgraduate Network, Research Committee, and Alumni Board
  • Subject staff also attend Departmental Staff Student Liaison Committees
  • Named Library staff have responsibility for part-time, 2+2, students with disabilities, international and foundation students. They attend inductions, liaison committees and other meetings
  • We have a strong and active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, blogging platforms, all of which enable students to make enquiries, suggestions and leave feedback