Well my first blog for the Iron Room has certainly been a long time coming! And what am I doing? Asking for your help! I will endeavour to do another blog very soon, and make it one that talks about something very special in the collections… you’ll just have to wait and see!
As many of you will know, the Library of Birmingham has undergone some significant changes over the last few months, and in response to those changes we have had to address the way we offer our services because we can no longer do everything we used to do in the way we used to do it.
As such we in the Archives, Heritage & Photography department have been working hard to review what we have offered, and to develop a future service offer that takes into account the challenges facing the Library of Birmingham as a whole. As part of this we are looking at how we deliver services, and at the moment we want to consult with you, our customers and stakeholders, to get your views and achieve the best possible outcome with one particular aspect.
As part of our response to the challenges, the Archives, Heritage & Photography service has, through the recent staffing restructure, been consolidated into one service area operating two public counters on level 4 of the Library of Birmingham: the open access counter in the Heritage Research Area (HRA) and the supervised research room (the Wolfson Centre for Archival Research) where original and rare documents and publications are served.
Since our focus is on developing a long-term sustainable service for our customers and stakeholders that is both fit for the future and is feasible with our present resources, the Archives, Heritage & Photography service area as a whole will remain open for the same opening hours as the rest of the Library of Birmingham. However, we do not have the capacity to operate both the HRA counter and the Wolfson Centre counter for all of those opening hours, or indeed the opening hours we have had for the Wolfson Centre until now, and this consultation is about which Wolfson Centre opening hours best suit our customers.
Please download the consultation document here and return it to us with your views to the address at the bottom of the page.
You can also complete our online survey to have your say.
Whilst we need to address the fact that we cannot deliver services in the same way as we have done, we can reassure customers that the same set of excellent staff will be operating both the HRA counter and the Wolfson Centre counter, so although opening hours for both will differ, you will still be able to ask them for advice, consult catalogues and knowledgeable staff, arrange appointments, and request material for that appointment.
Please do take part in the consultation, we very much want your help to get the opening hours of the Wolfson Centre as right as we possibly can with the capacity that we have at our disposal. We’ve given you a bit of background to the consultation on the form, with information about how you have used us over the last year or so – so please do take a look. The closing date for the consultation is the 11th October 2015, with a view to implementing the changes in November 2015.
Thanks for your support.
Archives & Collections Manager