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DOMINUS ILLUMINATIO MEA

The University of Oxford


Building on Excellence: a Libraries Capital Campaign for Oxford

Oxford's libraries in context

The library system of the University of Oxford traces its origins back to the 13th century and is the most ancient and the most extensive of any academic institution in the United Kingdom. In 1610, Sir Thomas Bodley made arrangements with the Stationers' Company for the University to receive free copies of its printed output, making the newly refounded Bodleian Library the first deposit library for British published materials. From that time onwards, the University's library resources began to be used extensively by scholars from all over the UK, as well as from all parts of the world. In the 21st century, the University's library system continues to function as a national and international resource, with more than 60% of the Bodleian's registered users coming from outside the University.

The combined collections of all the centrally-funded libraries in the University, quite apart from those of the many Oxford colleges, now number more than 11 million printed items. In addition, there are many millions of non-printed and unique research materials, in every conceivable format. With its very wide range of 'heritage' buildings - including the magnificent 15th-century Duke Humfrey's Library, which now lies at the heart of the Old Bodleian complex - the Oxford library system constitutes a national treasure. For almost 400 years it has held a significant place in the cultural and intellectual life of the nation. What was said by Francis Bacon about the Bodleian in the early 17th century is still true of the 21st-century library system of which it today forms an integral part: it is "an Ark to save learning from deluge".

New millennium, new departure

In the year 2000, against a background of wide-ranging technological developments, of rapid changes in methods of scholarly communication, of rising demands and changing expectations on the part of library users, and of growing budgetary constraints in higher education generally, the University resolved to take a radically new approach to the development of its existing library infrastructures (managerial, operational, physical and technical). In order to ensure that its library and information services would be well-positioned to support Oxford's world-class mission into the 21st century and beyond, the University introduced entirely new arrangements for the integrated management and development of its centrally-funded libraries, with the establishment of the Oxford University Library Services (OULS), under the overall management of a single University officer, the Director of University Library Services and Bodley's Librarian. The purpose of this major organisational change was not simply to improve the administrative coherence of the library services, but much more to deliver, over time, enhanced services to library users of every kind.

Since the establishment of the OULS in 2000, the Director and his senior staff have been working closely with the libraries' new governing body, the Curators of the University Libraries, under the chairmanship of a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, to develop forward plans for the Oxford libraries sector, and these plans have been published on the Internet under the title Vision for 2007 (www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/librarian/). The plans are designed to enable the integrated library system to deliver greatly improved services, and they include a long-term accommodation strategy which sets out a major programme for the refurbishment, expansion, and radical reconfiguration of the library system. This strategy, approved by the University, now forms the blueprint for a major series of key physical developments which, within the next decade, will significantly improve the ability of the OULS to support the needs of library users in Oxford and in the wider world of scholarship.

Building for the future: the need for capital investment

An intensive process of appraisal and evaluation has been a necessary part of this planning for the future, and this has confirmed that a significant investment of capital development funding will be necessary over the next 5-6 years. Consistent with the urgency of these identified needs, the University has recently resolved to contribute £10M as a capital sum to this funding requirement, and has also purchased a £6M office building not far from Oxford station to provide accommodation for the expansion and consolidation of library support services away from the over-crowded central sites. At the same time, the University Council has agreed to include a £40M Libraries Capital Campaign in the fundraising portfolio of the University's Development Office. The success of that campaign over the next few years will be crucial to the remodelling of the library service. Building on the excellence of the Oxford library system will be synonymous both with supporting the teaching and research activities of the University and with contributing to an essential part of the University's worldwide service to education and scholarship.

The launch of the Libraries Capital Campaign is being timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the opening of the Bodleian Library, in 2002. Thanks to the vision, energy and generosity of Sir Thomas Bodley, who rebuilt Oxford's first University Library at his own expense between 1598 and 1602, the Bodleian Library has been a beacon of library excellence for four centuries. As the University gratefully and proudly celebrates that unparalleled act of benefaction, it is confident that, with the support of a wide circle of donors, the Libraries Capital Campaign will enable it to build on past excellence, by providing a library service of outstanding quality for many more centuries to come.

The Libraries Capital Campaign: the key elements

The Libraries Capital Campaign is designed to enhance the Oxford library system's physical and technical infrastructure in a number of significant ways. The key elements within the Campaign portfolio are as follows:

Taken as a whole, these development projects will ensure that the Oxford library system is positioned at the forefront of world scholarship, by enabling it not only to deliver enhanced access to its exceptional collections, but also to maintain and preserve those collections for future generations.

The Capital Campaign portfolio: the details

The capital developments within the Campaign portfolio have all gone through a rigorous project appraisal process, and have been selected on the strict application of the following criteria:

The projects themselves adhere to the following costing principles:

Given that the portfolio of projects will, by the end of the Campaign, increase the libraries' estate by some 8% overall, it has also been assumed for planning purposes that the premises-related costs of the additional space (including the energy and maintenance costs of new plant) will be added to the libraries' baseline costs as the spaces become operational during the life of the Campaign. Standard square-metre formulae have been used for the calculation of these costs, together with further allowances for the increased maintenance and energy costs expected for air-conditioning and for the New Bodleian book conveyor. These estimates will be further refined as the detailed design stage progresses.

Figure 1 represents in tabular form the overall Campaign portfolio and its constituent parts.

Figure 1

Campaign Portfolio

(£000s)

Capital

Recurrent

Additional

Rolling funding (first 5 years)

Endowment funding

Totals

University

cost p.a.

Project 1 (New Bodleian Library stacks)

14,642

110

0

14,752

48

Project 2 (New Bodleian Library Conveyor)

2,755

0

0

2,755

28

Project 3 (New Bodleian Library reading rooms)

3,193

0

0

3,193

0

Project 4 (Osney Mead support facility)

7,837

1,870

3,000

12,707

220

Project 5 (Hybrid Library developments)

3,700

100

0

3,800

0

Project 6 (New Medical Library)

4,347

150

0

4,497

45

Project 7 (Taylor Institution Library extension)

5,388

150

0

5,538

24

Project 8 (Law Library upgrade)

1,280

0

0

1,280

0

Project 9 (Clarendon Building refurbishment)

600

0

0

600

0

Project 10 (Radcliffe Camera renovation)

908

0

0

908

0

TOTAL

44,650

2,380

3,000

50,030

365

Risk analysis: capital costs

A detailed appraisal of the Campaign projects has also quantified the risks that might result from variations in capital costs. These include possible fluctuations in rates of inflation, possible changes in client briefs, and such technical issues as the likelihood of piling being required for the new Medical Library. These risks have been applied to the costings, to give the worst case and best case projections, and these are shown in Figure 2 below. It is particularly important to take these risks into account, and to make sufficient allowance for them in the Campaign's financial models, targets and timetables. As the design phase progresses, these risks will be described with greater certainty.

Figure 2

Risk analysis

Capital (£000)

Risk

Anticipated

Worst case

Best case

Project 1 (New Bodleian) - Stack

+/-21%

14,642

17,500

11,567

Project 2 (New Bodleian) - Conveyor

+18% - 7%

2,755

3,251

2,562

Project 3 (New Bodleian) - Reading rooms

+17% - 7%

3,193

3,752

2,970

Project 4 (Osney Mead Support Facility)

+12% - 9%

7,837

8,777

7,131

Project 5 (Hybrid Library)

+/-0%

3,700

3,700

3,700

Project 6 (New Medical Library)

+9%-7%

4,347

4,738

4,043

Project 7 (Taylor Institution Library extension)

+18%-9%

5,388

6,357

4,903

Project 8 (Law Library upgrade)

+26%-25.5%

1,280

1,612

954

Project 9 (Clarendon Building refurbishment)

+14%-14%

600

684

516

Project 10 (Radcliffe Camera renovation)

+/-7%

908

972

845

TOTAL

44,650

51,343

39,191

 

Brief descriptions of the Campaign projects

The project elements in the Campaign Portfolio can be summarised as follows:

Projects 1-3 (Upgrading the New Bodleian Library)

Project 4 (Osney Mead Support Facility)

The present Blackwell's Science building will be extensively converted for library use, with over 100 library support staff being transferred to the new premises. The building, in its own extensive grounds, with considerable scope for subsequent expansion, will house a libraries-wide conservation and binding service, with state-of-the-art laboratories and workrooms, the Systems and Electronic Services staff (including the Oxford Digital Library), the Technical Services Department (Cataloguing and Acquisitions), staff training facilities, and the Oxford Resources for the Blind. The transfer of so many support staff to these expanded facilities will release much-needed space for the enhancement of reader facilities on the central site.

Project 5 (The Hybrid Library)

As the use of electronic information resources continues to grow rapidly, in Oxford as elsewhere, the OULS is pursuing a forward-looking e-strategy, within which a number of key digital library developments have been identified as targets for Campaign support. The e-strategy itself is an essential part of the 'hybrid library' approach being taken to library service delivery in the Oxford context. The ultimate aim is to integrate all the library resources and services of the OULS (both physical and virtual) into a single, cohesive, and seamlessly searchable facility, accessible both on-site and remotely from the scholar's desktop. Enhancing access to Oxford's superb collections of primary research materials, protecting fragile and rare originals by the use of digital surrogates, and enabling new forms of academic enquiry through the local creation of digitised, Internet-accessible, scholarly resources, are all key aims of the Oxford Digital Library initiative, for which supporting funds will be sought within the Libraries Campaign.

Project 6 (New Medical and Healthcare Library)

Library provision to the Medical Sciences Division in Oxford is currently fragmented and, on the Churchill (South Headington) site, minimal. The number of separate medical and healthcare libraries needs to be reduced and improved facilities and services introduced. A new, flexible, technologically sophisticated facility is envisaged, which will be capable of providing for the expanding user base on the Churchill site, and of meeting the 21st-century information needs of a medical school of international standing. The new facility will complement existing library provision on the John Radcliffe site, and will be managed as an integral part of the Oxford University Library Services.

Project 7 (Taylor Institution Library extension)

The extension of the Library space over the existing Taylor lecture theatre and the provision of disabled access will transform the usability of this magnificent 19th-century building and will greatly enhance its capacity to support teaching and research in Modern Languages in Oxford.

Project 8 (Upgrading the Bodleian Law Library)

The refurbishment and refitting of the Library's ground floor, including the replacement of the existing fixed shelving with mobile shelving, will make it possible to house the expanding collections of one of the largest open-access Law libraries in the UK.

Projects 9 (Clarendon Building) and 10 (Radcliffe Camera)

Programme of works and anticipated cashflow

The design, procurement, and implementation programme for the Capital Campaign projects is set out in Figure 3 below. The anticipated cashflow is set out in Figure 4.

 

Figure 3

 

Figure 4

Capital Campaign Projects: Anticipated cashflow

Year

£000's

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Total

Capital costs

Projects 1-3 (New Bodleian)

1,029

11,174

7,674

823

20,590

Project 4 (Library Support Facility)

79

1,724

5,799

235

7,837

Project 5 (The Hybrid Library)

887

643

665

798

707

3,700

Project 6 (New Medical Library)

218

1,304

2,651

174

4,347

Project 7 (Taylor Institution Library)

469

3,226

1,517

176

5,388

Project 8 (Law Library)

103

1,139

38

1,280

Project 9 (Clarendon Building)

580

20

600

Project 10 (Radcliffe Camera)

872

36

908

SUBTOTAL

0

79

4327

23701

13937

2009

707

0

0

0

44650

Endowment and rolling funding

Projects 1-3 (New Bodleian)

24

25

26

27

27

129

(for Marginal Revenue Costs)

Project 4 (Library Support Facility)

3,409

421

433

447

460

5,170

Project 5 (The Hybrid Library)

22

22

23

24

24

115

Project 6 (New Medical Library)

35

36

37

38

38

184

Project 7 (Taylor Institution Library)

35

36

37

38

38

184

Project 8 (Law Library)

0

Project 9 (Clarendon Building)

0

Project 10 (Radcliffe Camera)

0

SUBTOTAL

0

0

22

3,455

469

553

570

561

76

76

5,782

TOTAL

0

79

4,349

27,156

14,406

2,562

1,277

561

76

76

50,432

Key Financial Indicators

Net Present Value

42,730

Assumptions

Inflation:

Construction costs

7.5%

Recurrent costs

3.0%

 

 

APPENDIX: Associated capital needs

While the principal Campaign fundraising efforts will be concentrated on the projects specified within the Campaign portfolio in Figure 1, and briefly described above, it has been agreed, with the concurrence of the University Development Office, that a number of the other capital needs of the libraries sector should be kept together as an identifiable group of secondary targets. Given the added value which these associated elements could bring to the primary projects to which many of them are linked, it seems appropriate that a degree of flexibility should be retained over the five-year life of the Campaign. It is possible that circumstances might arise whereby some of the project elements in this Appendix might become fundable (for example, by a particularly generous donor, or through the University's Rolling Programme). Subsequent developments within the University's own planning scenarios might also impact on the actual roll-out of the Campaign (for example, the possible acquisition by the University of the Radcliffe Infirmary site might lead to a decision to make expanded library provision for Modern Languages in a new Humanities Library there, rather than in the Taylor Institution). The Libraries Capital Campaign will need to be flexible enough to be able to accommodate such changed circumstances as they arise.

For the purposes of present clarity and future reference, therefore, these additional elements are listed here in tabular form (Figure 5), with their estimated costings set out in the same format as for the Campaign Portfolio proper.

Figure 5

Associated capital elements

(£000s)

Capital

Recurrent

Additional

(Anticipated)

Rolling campaign

Endowment

Totals

University

funding (first 5 years)

funding

cost p.a.

Project 1 (New Bodleian stacks)

3,457

0

0

3,457

32

Project 2 (New Bodleian conveyor)

2,098

0

0

2,098

22

Project 3 (New Bodleian reading rooms)

2,000

20

0

2,020

0

Project 3b (New Bodleian roof-top extension)

1,982

0

0

1,982

13

Project 4 (Osney Mead support facility)

0

617

0

617

0

Project 4b (Repository)

2,443

0

1,112

3,555

77

Project 5 (Hybrid Library)

1,545

0

0

1,545

0

Project 6 (Medical Library)

0

315

0

315

0

Project 7 (Taylor Library)

0

270

0

270

0

Project 8 (Law Library)

1,661

30

0

1,691

0

Project 11 (Radcliffe Science Library extension)

7,869

493

0

8,362

68

TOTAL

23,055

1,745

1,112

25,912

212

 

Brief descriptions of the associated capital elements

Project 1 (Upgrading the New Bodleian)

An expansion of Project 1, at a capital cost of a further £3,457M, would provide for air-conditioning to be installed on all the remaining floors and in all the major reading rooms of the New Bodleian. This would enable all stack material to be stored in conditions meeting the current British Standard, not just those stored on J, K, and L floors. Also, special collections material consulted within the New Bodleian could be both stored and used in good environmental conditions, thus avoiding damaging changes in levels of relative humidity as stock moves between locations.

Project 2 (Extending the Bodleian Conveyor)

An additional sum of £2M would enable the conveyor to be extended from the present route linking the New Bodleian stacks and Old Library stacks to serve the Underground Bookstore below the Radcliffe Camera and both the Camera's Upper and S.T. Lee Reading Rooms. This extension would minimise the manual handling problems currently experienced on the Old Library-Camera route, and could be fully integrated with the replacement system.

Project 3 (More extensive enhancement of the New Bodleian Reading Rooms)

An additional £2M would provide for the much more extensive upgrading and refurbishment of the New Bodleian outer rooms, for which £3.19M has already been included in the main Campaign portfolio. This extra sum would allow for the implementation of all the works specified in the full project appraisals, including the large-scale remodelling of the reading rooms and the incorporation of large sections of the stack within the reading room areas.

Project 3b (New Bodleian rooftop extension)

A roof-top extension for the New Bodleian Library, at a cost of £2M, would provide a further 600m2 of space, enabling additional improvements to reader services and facilities.

Project 4 (Osney Mead Support Facility)

Endowment funding of £1.112M would make it possible to meet the Preservation Services costs required to operate the new libraries-wide facilities at an expanded level of output.

Project 4b (Osney Mead Book Repository)

If the University fails to obtain planning permission to build further book repository modules at Nuneham Courtenay, the site of the former Kemp Hall bindery at Osney Mead could be brought into use for this necessary purpose. At a cost of £3.5M, a three-storey book repository could be constructed next to the new Library Support Facility. With a capacity of 15,000m of shelving, this would accommodate all the stock displaced, temporarily and permanently, by the proposed works in the New Bodleian Library, and could be the first of a series of such modules for offsite library storage at Osney Mead. It would also enable the upgrading of the mechanical systems in the New Bodleian stacks to be carried out in fewer, larger, more cost-effective phases, and the New Bodleian stack collections could be reorganised more effectively, to facilitate the extension of open access in key areas.

 

Project 5 (The Hybrid Library)

A further £1.54M would serve to accelerate the roll-out of the OULS e-strategy, with particular attention being given to the enhanced provision of electronic catalogue records, for improved access to an even greater proportion of the libraries' disparate collections.

Project 6 (New Medical and Healthcare Library)

An extra £63k p.a. (from rolling funding) would meet the costs of two further academic-related posts, to provide additional reader service enhancements in the new facility.

Project 7 (Taylor Institution Library)

An additional £54k p.a. of recurrent funding would support three additional posts to develop reader service improvements in the extended building.

Project 8 (Upgrading the Bodleian Law Library)

The sum of £1.691M would make it possible to complete the reconfiguration of the Library and to introduce much-needed improvements to its staff and reader facilities, following on from the ground floor enabling works included in the Campaign proper.

Project 11 (Radcliffe Science Library: extension and upgrade)

£7.869M would fund a two-storey underground extension to provide additional on-site growth space for the RSL collections (the largest open-access scientific collections in the UK). The extension would also accommodate the open shelf stock displaced from the existing Lankester Room to introduce a new suite for the provision of state-of-the-art facilities for training in the use of scientific and technical information. A further £69k p.a. recurrent (from rolling funding) would meet the costs of two specialist staff posts to exploit the new facilities to the full.

 

01/02


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