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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Use of Space in the Homer Babbidge Library

The University Libraries provide facilities and services that are attractive and welcoming to the members of the university community. Library buildings are high traffic areas that are conveniently located for the community; they offer generous public service hours in response to ever-evolving user needs. The libraries provide a variety of services for the university community that are essential to the university’s mission. It is important, therefore, that guidelines be established for the use of library space so that this space is maximized for all concerned.

General Principles

Space in the Homer Babbidge Library is allocated 1) to serve library users and their needs and 2) to manage the library’s collections and services. The Homer Babbidge Library staff provide a safe, welcoming, user-friendly, and comfortable environment for those engaged in study, research, academic projects, and both group and independent learning. The staff utilize library office space effectively in service to the university community.

Any change to the use of space in the Homer Babbidge Library is subject to the approval of the Vice Provost for Libraries in consultation with the Facilities Librarian and the Directors Council. Final word on all space allocation resides with the Vice Provost for Libraries.

Public Space

Public space is that space set aside for all library users to access independently whenever the building is open. This includes study spaces, stacks spaces, public workstation areas, and restrooms. Public spaces are kept clean and orderly and access to them and their features is made transparent to all. When opportunity arises, the library will seek to increase space directly available for public use.

Non-Library units in Public Spaces

As the University Libraries develop new collaborative spaces such as the Learning Commons and absorb new information partners such as the Roper Center, requests for service space from other non-library units will likely occur. The Libraries will only consider service space requests from non-library units that explicitly support the University of Connecticut’s Academic Plan and the Libraries’ Strategic Goals. The addition of the service unit must enhance the library’s ability to carry out its mission and not impede the library’s daily operations. These assignments should be formal and reviewed at least once every 3 years.

Restricted Public Spaces

Restricted public spaces are spaces set aside for specific library users for their exclusive but temporary use; these include lockable research carrels and lockable group studies. The library seeks to maximize the use of such restricted spaces as requests for them currently exceed availability.

Collections Space

Collections spaces are spaces set aside for housing the library’s physical collections so that they are readily accessible by library users; this includes spaces for books, journals, maps, media, and microforms.

Physical collections grow and are modified in response to the information needs of the university community. The library will seek to organize and manage the space allocated to housing these materials without increasing the overall collections footprint, by taking advantage of digital surrogates, compact shelving, de-selection, resource sharing, and remote storage facilities in the region.

Instruction Space(Instruction Rooms, Lecture Rooms, and Theaters)

There is a growing demand for the use of the library’s instruction rooms, lecture rooms, and video theaters by teaching faculty, teaching assistants, and other non-library staff. The library seeks to maximize the use of these instruction venues by making each of the spaces as flexible and multi-purpose as possible and by making sure that the spaces are available to all potential users in a fair and equitable manner.

Library instruction spaces are for supplemental use only; they are not to be reserved for the exclusive use of semester-long courses.

Service Space

Service space is space dedicated to providing direct public service (e.g. iDesk; Learning Commons Desk). Library service managers regularly review the services and their spaces to maximize their effectiveness for library users and to enable greater user independence and self-sufficiency.

Office Space – Library Staff

Office space is space set aside for library staff or service partners (e.g. Roper Center; Digital Learning Center). During business hours, staff in library office spaces accommodate public service appointments, service referrals, and drop-ins. The Library Program Area Directors and Area staff are responsible for the internal allocation of the space dedicated to their programs.

The library arranges and outfits office spaces to promote service excellence and internal collaboration; as staffing patterns change, the library will review current office spaces to see if they might be repurposed. Any change to the allocation of Program Area space is subject to the approval of the Vice Provost for Libraries in consultation with the Facilities Librarian and the Directors Council.

Office Space – Non-Library Staff

Unless there is a direct mandate from the University Administration to accommodate specific non-library office staff, the Libraries will only consider requests for administrative office space that are consistent with the University of Connecticut’s Academic Plan and the Libraries’ Strategic Goals. Only spaces currently designated for office use will be considered. The addition of the office unit must enhance the Libraries’ ability to carry out its mission and not impede the Libraries’ daily operations. These assignments should be formal and reviewed at least once every 3 years. Any allocation of space to non-library staff is subject to the approval of the Vice Provost for Libraries in consultation with the Facilities Librarian and the Directors Council.

Space Development

As opportunities present themselves, unused, little used or vacant space will be developed to meet current and future needs. The recent expansion of Bookworms Café is one example; the repurposing of the Art & Design auxiliary offices as group studies is another. Spaces needing upgrade or repurposing will be reviewed by the Facilities Librarian and proposals for their development will be prepared for the Vice Provost. Development of new spaces is subject to the approval of the Vice Provost for Libraries in consultation with the Facilities Librarian and the Directors Council.