RLUK’s Space Programme is a forum for RLUK members to engage in open dialogue and share their knowledge and experience around spatial redesign and capital builds. This seminar features three presentations focusing on the impact the recent shift in working practices has had on the design and use of library spaces, both physical and digital, and the implications for their development and running. The speakers share their experiences about how the change in working places and environments has affected the roles and practices of library and information professionals in their institutions and the way they deliver user services.

The event was chaired by David Wright, Associate Director for User Experience, University of Southampton Library & RLUK Space Programme Committee Member

Creating spaces online for study and developing physical places for online interactions – Ben Meunier, UCL Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science

In this session, UCL Library Services describes experimental work undertaken between winter 2020 and 2022 to respond to the needs of Library users. The first part of the session looks at the development of virtual learning spaces for UCL students and researchers, responding to different ways of learning. The presentation summarises key findings from a joint research project between UCL Library Services, Information Services Division and the UCL Interaction Centre. The second part of the session charts the early findings from a research project underway to re-think the library spaces and create truly inclusive places to access online resources. The aim of the project is to understand how, as well as creating suitable space within the library for participating in online sessions, the library can redevelop spaces in ways which are accessible and welcoming to all students and researchers.

Hybrid working and staff spaces: implementing hybrid working at the University of Manchester Library and how this has impacted on design plans for staff spaces – Sandra Bracegirdle and Olivia Walsby, University of Manchester Library

This presentation looks at how hybrid working has been introduced at University of Manchester and how the Library has managed this process for its own staff. This includes the management of spaces, the use of team charters, staff engagement, collaborative spaces as well as the issues and challenges we have faced. We also discuss how this has impacted on our plans for current and new staff spaces.

Blending the Best of Both Worlds: The Hybrid Working Journey at the University of Glasgow – William Nixon, Assistant Director, Digital Strategy (Library Services), University of Glasgow Library

This talk provides an overview of the approach and principles the University of Glasgow has adopted to support hybrid working. The University Library, as part of Information Services, is exploring the impact and options of work, space and the delivery of services and content. William is a member of the Information Services Hybrid/Modern Desktop Working Group which is exploring new hardware (and related space) needs for staff and their roles.