Use our expertise to solve your problems
“Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing
and enhancing.” - Thomas J. Peters
Opening the Book has run library design consultancy days for more than 30 UK library management teams and for management teams in Ireland, Sweden and Norway. The company has been commissioned to undertake library space planning by architects, principal contractors, developers and professional bodies as well as by library services. Please contact Rachel Van Riel on email@example.com to discuss your specific needs.
- Meeting the changing needs of customers for the Royal National Institute of Blind People
- Customer service assessment, including customer observations, across 5 libraries in Perth & Kinross
- Advice on the layout and space design for the first RFID libraries in Dorset, plus engaging staff as part of the change management process to improve the customer focus and understanding of the service transformation agenda
- Consultancy and observation research for Worcester Libraries and the University of Worcester as part of the early planning for The Hive
- Creating a ‘wow’ factor with new approaches to book presentation in adult and children’s at Raufoss Library, Norway
- Working with the Nottingham Trent Libraries and Learning Resources leadership team, management team and other university stakeholders to articulate the concepts and principles which will drive innovative and creative thinking about the design of university library spaces for the future.
- Consultancy to the heads of museums, archives and libraries at Oxfordshire County Council on the question of how to clarify the role of local history in the refurbished Central Library where the space for local studies will be reduced.
- Consultancy to senior managers in libraries and customer services in Northumberland County Council exploring how they will work together in joint spaces in a merged service.
- Proposing alterations to modernise the House of Commons Derby Gate Library to better meet the needs of current and future users while respecting the listed building
- Space planning for the expanded public areas at Nottinghamshire Archives
- Facilitating planning with architect and senior management team for refurbishment of the landmark Ambassador building to house Dublin Central Library
- Consultancy on improving the layout of the fiction area at Copenhagen Central Library
- Layout design for the learning resource centre, public library and adult learning area at the new Oxford Academy
- Solving problems of people flow and improving entrance area layout at Helsingborg Library, Sweden
- Advising on the conversion of historic squash courts into library spaces at the University of Notre Dame in London
- Redesigning Poole Central Library to occupy one floor and not two.
- In Västernorrland in Sweden, Rachel Van Riel toured a range of libraries over a week. Each library identified key issues – from space for pre-school activities to helping visitors find their way upstairs – and sent plans and photographs in advance. Rachel proposed solutions on the spot and all the libraries sent representatives to the final seminar at the County Library to discuss changes.
- The tour was such a success it was repeated six months’ later to reach different libraries in the region.
- Rachel has delivered similar problem-solving tours in Norway, especially in the regions of Aust-Agder and Arendal.
“We wanted our management team to explore the fundamental purpose of the university library before looking at building and service changes. Rachel Van Riel is a stimulating and challenging facilitator, able to bring different staff teams to a shared understanding of vision and values and then translate these into inspiring and functional designs for very different library spaces.”
Head of Libraries & Learning Resources
Nottingham Trent University
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