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BU has the UK’s most Outstanding Library Team

10 June 2009

BU's Sir Michael Cobham Library and Learning Centre Times Higher Education award recognises achievements of BU's high quality library service.

BU has won this year’s inaugural Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for ‘Outstanding Library Team’ during a gala award ceremony in London.

The prestigious award recognises the team’s dedication and achievement in providing a high quality of service in support of all areas of University activity. Competition for the award came from City University London, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Universities of Salford, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

University Librarian David Ball said: “We’re very pleased to win this inaugural award from Times Higher Education which is shared amongst all of our staff who have set and achieved a very high standard for the provision of library services at BU.

“We continue to develop an active and flexible learning environment relevant to all students and staff. These developments respond to the curriculum and to individual learning styles as well as to our students’ preferences to work in both virtual and real spaces.”

Professor Paul Curran, BU Vice-Chancellor, added his congratulations. “It is particularly pleasing for us to have the achievements of our outstanding Library team acknowledged by the Times Higher Education ,” he said. “I am delighted that the innovative and high quality service our Library provides to staff and students has been appreciated nationally. This recognition is well-deserved by David and his team.”

The Library at BU has a national reputation for successfully aligning education with technology, enabling staff and students to exploit an increasing range of e-resources. These include a fast-growing virtual learning environment, myBU, and BU Research Online (BURO), one of the UK’s largest online research repositories.

Just 18 months ago, The Sir Michael Cobham Library on BU’s Talbot Campus won the Library Design Award from the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Considered the ‘Oscar’ of library design, the SCONUL award – for best large university library in the UK – is presented only once every five years.

In the last year, the ground floor of the Library was adapted to provide informal seating clusters and six unique and innovative ‘Techno Booths’. The booths, which feature interactive whiteboards and plasma projection screens, have proved popular with students as the increased number of visits to the library and high usage figures for the booths demonstrate.

The Library also hosts the impressive Centre for Broadcast History archive and is currently working with corporate partners in the community to create the ‘Streets of Bournemouth’, the first virtual museum devoted to the town’s history. The project, made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £440,000, has former Bournemouth resident Bill Bryson as its Patron and will form a central part of the town’s bicentenary celebrations in 2010.

In 2007, the Library was renamed in honour of Sir Michael Cobham, a significant contributor to the success of the University. Sir Michael received an Honorary Doctorate from BU following a distinguished career with Cobham plc, the aerospace company founded by his father, Sir Alan Cobham.

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