Saturday, August 6, 2011

King's College Maughan Library

The library has been at its current location since 2001. It is the consolidation of four King's College campus libraries. Formerly, the building was used as a records office. It is owned by the Crown Estates and leased to the college. The library serves eleven or more thousand students per year. The students study in the areas of the humanities, social sciences, law, and health science. King’s College and its affiliate, the University of London, receive a thousand or more visitors worldwide each year. It is open twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Wireless Internet is available throughout the building and self-service stations are available throughout the building for checking out materials. There are group study areas, social seating and a snack room for eating and socializing. The librarians roam about the library in order to provide immediate reference to its users. The stacks are movable or rolling shelves to provide more shelving space. In the area of math science journals are only available on the online database. The closed access part of the collection includes the student theses, and the Zion College collection. Both can be requested via the catalog. There is an audiovisual collection of CDs, DVDs, and VHSs. The DVDs fall under a certain copyright per region, the library gets around these limitations by having multi-region players. There is a round reading room modeled after the one in the British Museum.

The Foyle Special Collections Room has over 130,000 books, journals, pamphlets, maps and other printed materials. The items that were placed on display for us to see and browse through included: a 17th century travel and discovery map of the world showing California as an island, printed in London 1671; the Nuremburg Chronicle History of the World from 1493; from the St. Thomas collection a 1491 edition of the Garden of Health; a 17th century doctor’s annotated ledger; a 19th century copy of Florence Nightingale’s book about the sanitary conditions during the Crimean War; a 1953 Coronation Album of Queen Elizabeth II showing photos of celebrations throughout the Commonwealth; and a book printed and donated by Benjamin Franklin about the Charters of the Province of Pensilvania and Philadelphia MDCCXLII (original spelling).

After visiting the Foyle Special Collections Room, our class was split up in two groups for a tour of the library. Our group saw how the facilities were laid out. We even went up to the tower where there are individual study rooms with windows overlooking the skyline of London.

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