LIBER Webinar: Planning Library Spaces - Key Points
This webinar will introduce the key factors in planning library spaces, followed by a case study of the recently completed and much acclaimed Student Centre at University College London (UCL). 

The first talk by Karen Latimer — Library Design Consultant — will cover the planning stage, the construction phase and post-occupancy evaluation.  Topics such as preparing the brief/programme, visits and surveys, user needs, envisaging future services and challenges along the way will be discussed.  

The second talk by Ben Meunier — Director of Operations at UCL Library Services — will look at how the Student Centre at UCL addressed the needs of students and aligned with the Strategic Plan for the University. He will discuss how the vision translated into reality, key requirements, the role of the library in the digital age and the feedback on the finished project. 

The webinar will also cover the challenges inherent in managing a wider range of services under the “Student Centre” umbrella and will outline UCL’s approach in trying to meet those challenges.
Through the webinar, participants will:
  • Learn about the various stages in the process of planning library space;
  • Understand the importance of aligning plans for major projects with wider institutional or national strategy;
  • Be aware of the benefits of user engagement in developing libraries which meet or exceed expectations;
  • Know about the tools available to help with the planning process, and where to go to for ideas and further information.

The webinar will be hosted by Sylvia van Peteghem, chair of the LIBER Architecture Group

About the Speakers 

Karen Latimer is a graduate of Edinburgh University. For much of her career she was the architecture and planning librarian at Queen’s University Belfast before moving into library management.  She is a member of the UK Designing Libraries Advisory Board and of the LIBER European Research Libraries Architecture Group and is a past Chair of the IFLA  Library Buildings & Equipment Standing Committee.  She has published widely on a range of library and conservation topics, frequently speaks at national and international conferences, and has been a lay member of the RIBA and RSUA judging panels as well as the international judge for library building design competitions in Europe, China, and Australia.

Karen is a Trustee of the Architectural Heritage Fund, former Chair and current committee member of the Hearth Historic Buildings Trust and is the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society’s Publications Editor. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), an honorary member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and was awarded an OBE in 2007.

Ben Meunier is the Director of Operations at UCL Library Services, overseeing strategic Estate developments, Human Resources and Communications. He is a member of the LIBER Architecture Group (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries). Ben is leading the development of library services in UCL East, a major UCL development on the Olympic Park to create a model for the university campus of the future. He has significant experience in architectural developments, including overseeing major building works in heavily-used Grade 1 and 2-listed historic buildings. Ben was on the project board for UCL’s new Student Centre, which opened in early 2019 with 1,000 study spaces. 
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