University Libraries are often seen as the academic heart of any institution. However, as a shared space they are also ideally placed to deliver services to students. Many Universities are choosing to create a building which is divided between the Library Service and Professional Student Services such as the Careers Service, Financial Services or International Student Services. Some Universities are even providing offices and meeting rooms for their Student Association or Guild. Many others are choosing to simply develop and enhance the services that they have traditionally offered. Several years ago we ran a survey for a London University, and we asked students about they types of services that they would like to see in the future. We got some interesting responses – here are some of the most imaginative:
• Practice rooms for musical instruments and performances
• Gaming rooms for those studying animation and to enhance problem-solving skills.
• Social Media Tailoring Service – what apps are right for you?
• Personal Branding
• Mentoring Service
• Life Coaching Service
• Meditation spaces
• Allotments and Beehives
• Sleeping Pods
• A Cinema Club
• Tech Rental – iPads/Laptops etc
• Start up Rental – Clothing, electrical goods, etc. for new students in accommodation
• Exercise space for physical and mental stimulation – Tai Chi etc.
• Child care and baby changing
• Gender-neutral toilets
Some of these are far fetched but to innovate means to make changes in something established and to do this you need ideas. As usual, we want your thoughts on the types of innovative services that your library can offer. Leave your comments here, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or watch out for the ‘Innovative Services?’ poll later this month.