Recent blog posts have shown how the theme of ‘the library in the park’ drew from the relationship between the building and Peel Park’s historic role as the earliest municipal park, and focused on the general benefits of library use on degree classification. In this post I want to focus on the benefits to the student groups studying health, nursing, midwifery and social care.
The benefits for health and social care students
As the Academic Support Librarian for Health Sciences, I was recently asked how health care students will benefit from this space. Many work on placements, study part time, or have other needs that require Library access outside sociable hours. The wider development of the new campus has improved access to the Library, which has provided 24 hour access since 2014. The majority of the campus works around New Adelphi are now complete, making the Library easy to access on foot from Frederick Road Campus.
Student car parking
If you have a student monthly or full parking permit, you can access the Library at times that suit you by parking in the Lowry Car Park on Peel Park Campus. The Library is just a short walk along the new access. Many studying health and social care are mature students with competing priorities. Convenient monitored car parking and 24 hour access to the Library helps you to study when there may be other demands on your time.
A new learning environment for modern learning needs
Modern university libraries must meet a range of high-tech learning needs, and their role has changed dramatically over the past two decades. As a result, Library interiors have often changed to meet these new learning needs. For all students, the Library is the spine of their studies. The re-fit of Clifford Whitworth Library will enhance the continued provision of learning resources for your learning.
For students of health and social care, using a high-quality evidence base has always been a fundamental need. Access to such content is however, always evolving. Learning is now driven by mobile technology, so access to power supplies in the Library will increase. We will provide 70 more PCs, provide Macs via our Laptop loans service, and create spaces and furnishing that will support flexible access via tablets and mobile devices. This re-development will make Clifford Whitworth Library the primary physical learning space at the University of Salford, across all programmes.
Bookable collaborative learning spaces
More than ever, new technology means that the Library can be anywhere, but physical meeting spaces remain integral to learning. Health and social care professions especially rely on professional team working and communication skills. To support these needs, the number of bookable collaborative spaces will increase, providing you with essential learning opportunities for your future profession. Rooms will have IT facilities to help you develop critical and practical skills through your course that will help you deliver quality evidence-based practice in your future health care professions.
Collaboration in open access spaces
Health, nursing, midwifery and social care students will have access to a range of flexible learning spaces that will support both learning development and the professional skills their disciplines require. Whether you are undergraduate, following a post-qualification course, or a doctoral researcher, you will find a range of spaces to suit your needs. Open areas will provide spaces where discussion, interaction and experimentation are welcome. These spaces will include zones with a moveable walling system, so that students can configure their own learning space. This will support problem-based learning for future health and care professionals, where shared experience, reflection and team problem-solving skills are required.
The book collection
Because the Library has consolidated collections in one building, the academic collections you are accustomed to using may be located in different areas of the building. The number system for finding books will however be just the same. In addition, there will be a popular fiction section to browse and lounge in. Studying at university can be demanding and it’s important to take occasional breaks, so this section might just be your spot – and a great place to catch up with fellow students if you have been on placement.
‘Solitary’ or lone working
Your time spent with the university should help you develop as an independent learner. Although this means spending time in lecturers, tutorials and among peers, it’s also about the flexibility (supported by technology), that allows you to model your own learning. The Library will have colour-coded zoning to help you find the right place for your specific learning need. If your learning need is reflective, or you just want time and space to concentrate, quiet and silent areas will be available to help you focus on your work. The refurbishment will provide spaces to cater for the mix of communal, collaborative, social and individual learning needs that characterize courses in health and social care.
Academic Support Librarian for Health Sciences