Hugh Baird College, Bootle is a fast growing college, responding dynamically not only to educational demands and workforce training in the region but also local community needs.
Delivering over 300 courses to more than 5,000 students with courses ranging from Entry Level to Level 3, Apprenticeships and University level courses, Foundation Degrees and Degrees the college works closely with the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and employers.
The college’s L20 Hotel School will help fulfill the needs of the Liverpool City Region tourism sector and help provide well trained and job ready students to the city’s growing visitor economy whilst the latest development, the Port Academy, LIverpool will offer port operations courses in response to the exciting Super Port developments on their doorstep.
With a growing campus split across number of building, a diverse range of students and a commitment to the local community the Head of Learning resources Francesca Garner had a demanding brief when it came to planning the new library. “ We obviously had a range of issues with managing libraries across both our existing and new L20 buildings but with the right RFID and self-service solution we believed we could deliver the quality of service we desired”. Francesca also wanted to bring more male students into the libraries and believed self-service could be the answer. “There is a reluctance for some students to be seen lending what they deem to be ‘uncool’ or contentious material. With self-service there is a degree of anonymity”
The Learning resources team spent time researching options provided at other college and public libraries prior to preparing the tender, both to understand the type of solutions available and the companies that provided them.
Following the tender process 2CQR were chosen to fulfill the contract. Frank Barrett, project manager for the college explained, “The prices from all suppliers were similar but we went for the company we believed offered both reliability and understanding of our long term goals”. Francesca added“ And we were not disappointed, from the tagging, through training and installation and with continuing support there have been no hiccups. Our aim of keeping it simple, with no cash fines has really worked. Students love it, male usage is up, staff can offer more time to the students”.
On of the big successes has been the public library in the new L20 Building. Created in response to a perceived need, as local libraries were being phased out, apart from general public usage the college has collaborated with local schools to bring their pupils to the library.
On of the big successes has been the public library in the new L20 Building. Created in response to a perceived need, as local libraries were being phased out, apart from general public usage the college has collaborated with local schools to bring their pupils to the library. Creating a public library schools by offering a sophisticated library resource, their pupils through the activities the college prepares for them, the college’s students through the interaction with the children and finally the college as it is seen by the next generation of potential students as their local place of future learning.
Francesca explained “For example within a say, two hour session, with a group of school children our library and Learning Resources staff arrange managed interaction for our students in child, health and social care and give experience of dealing with children for our trainee cabin crew and photographers. The children love the projects we provide, become familiar with the library environment and the benefits it provides. Long term we expect to see these children back here to continue their education”