On Tuesday 2nd June I went on a visit to Edinburgh College of Art Library which was one of the programme of visits organised by ELISA training and development group.
The College of Art is on Lady Lawson Street in Edinburgh Old Town and has an old building at the front and a new building at the back leading onto West Port. The library is in the new part of the building. The librarian, Jane Furness, had kindly offered to show us around and give a talk about the library and how it is used.
The library is based on 3 floors although as we were vising at the same time as the degree show was on, the top floor was being used for the exhibition. Each floor is separate as it was originally going to be an office building so you come out of each floor and use the lift or stairs to get to the next.
On the main entrance floor is the Help Desk / Service Desk, some PCs and printer, lots of journals and magazines, the short loan collection and a collection of DVDs.
On the lower floor there is the main book collection and some desks with PCs.
The whole area is light and bright and has a good feel to it. It feels like a good place to work and the book collection is very interesting.
Jane explained about the collection and about the links with other Edinburgh University libraries and how the students use the resources. Although there are some electronic resources, due to the nature of the subject it is important to have paper based books and artifacts that are accessible and appealing.
There are display cases containing exhibits and artists stories – these are really interesting and give an insight into the character of the library and its users. The material is unique to the place.
More information about the ECA Library can be found on the University of Edinburgh website.
After we had looked around the library, we visited the rest of the building and the degree show. there were some interesting exhibits and a great view from the top.