Relatively new to Kings College, the Maughn Library opened to the students and public in 2001. There are four different libraries at Kings College, and the Maughn Library is located on the Strand Campus which opened in 1929. The library was the former public record office. When the building was built, it was built for fire safety in mind, so some of the book cases have slate shelves instead of wood. The only issue with the library is that it is part of the English Heritage, so if the library wants to change or alter the building, they have to have the English Heritage approve of it first.
When the library is open for regular term, it will be used by 11,000 students, is open seven days a week, and twenty-four hours. Of course, the number of usuage increases because the library is open to the public. There are over three-quarters of a million books in the library. There are 800 computers spread out through the library. Unlike other libraries that use Dewey, the Maughn Library uses the Library of Congress classification. Most areas are open to the students to pull books themselves, but a few areas are closed.
To be more helpful to the students, the library has added more special seating for groups to work together. Since the library is so big, the library this term will be adding the "Roaming Librarian". They will just walk around and help students who have any questions. If they can, the library will be adding self-check out machines.
The Maughn Library does have a special collection library. They have over 60,000 items and this is where the students have to sit in the room with the librarian. The special collection has a lot of medical books, theological documents and books, and other items from around the world. The library only buys about ten to fifteen new items a year, only a small portion of the collection is digitized, and there are only three staff members. The reading room is tiny since there are only twelve seats total. Some of the collection is still not catalogued and the library still makes new card catalogues.
The Maughn Library was nice, but I can see where people would get overwhelmed. The library is huge and the collection, seats, and computers are spread throughout the building. Even with the guide, I still felt lost because even though all the rooms are labeled, its hard to tell if you should go in or not. It'll be nice that the library is doing the "Roaming Librarian" just to help people. I'd like to ask where the bathroom is because I never saw one.
To learn more about the Maughn Library at Kings College, please visit www.kcl.ac.uk
Photograph provided by the blogger