The Adam Smith library is to be made into a postgraduate study space for Social and Political Sciences students.
The library currently houses books under the field of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS) and the facility is available to all students. However, the SSPS senior management has decided to open it only to postgraduate students in the faculty after discussing the matter with staff and students alike.
This decision is a response to rising concerns regarding the perceived lack of postgraduate study space available to students at the University.
The Adam Smith library will close at the end of this academic term in order to allow for refurbishments, and will reopen in the February of this year when it will be able to hold approximately 62 students.
Professor Michele Burman, the Head of SSPS, said: “This Hub would allow us to pilot, amongst other things, new ways of working with PGRs in research neighbourhoods bringing together researchers at different stages of their careers. It is hoped that these new ways of working will increase our research capacity and benefit researchers at all stages. It will also be used to inform the way we work once we move to new premises in Phase 1b of the campus development programme.
“There is no doubt that the ASB Library is a well-used study space by students at all levels, but we are under an obligation to find a desk and storage space for our PGR students, and we must also find space for PGT students - at least in the short term - while other areas in the University are being developed to provide PGT and PGR accommodation.
“With the McGregor Building due for closure in February 2018, finding space for PGRs has become one of our biggest challenges. It is also clear from statistics on library usage that the ASB Library is rarely used as a lending facility: rather it is used as a study space by students. The refurbishment will allow us to expand this space and offer better study facilities.”
A recent letter written by Kate Powell, the President of the Student Representative Council, voiced her concern that the University’s pattern of admitting an increased intake of students each year has augmented the risk of the University not being able to adequately support its students with sufficient facilities, including enough study space. While this small effort is being made to accommodate postgraduate students, it is unknown whether this will be enough to provide all of the University’s postgraduates with the study space that they need to accommodate them. Furthermore, it is not known whether the University intends to make more space available for undergraduate students, especially considering this reduction of study space in regard to the Adam Smith library’s re-purposing.