Shared Library Services at Scottish Borders Campus

I was welcomed with freshly brewed coffee when I paid a visit to Borders College library in Galashiels recently. I hadn’t visited the college since SLIC assisted them with shared services discussions some years back. The Scottish Borders Campus is part of a co-location project with Heriot Watt University and hosts Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design as well as a Business Programme. It’s on the site of the former Scottish College of Textiles (which merged with Heriot Watt in 1998) and the building is a mixture of new build and refurbished accommodation.

Borders College Library, Galashiels

The impressive library is located in a refurbished area formerly used to house textile looms. The college library service is an interesting example of shared service provision as it is provided by Heriot Watt University Library Service. The Library Team, headed up by Peter Sandison, HE Liaison Librarian, delivers an integrated service to both college and university students.

Peter Sandison, HE Liaison Librarian

I was interested to learn that the anticipated problems of service sharing (such as differing learner expectations in everything from noise levels to support provision) had either not materialised or been successfully tackled by Peter and his team. As in other examples of shared services the main issue has been to do with IT and access to e-resources. Both college and university share the Voyager library management system but the college has gone with Moodle as a VLE while Heriot  Watt uses Blackboard.

Jamie McIntyre, FE Liaison Librarian

FE Liaison Librarian, Jamie McIntyre, makes sure that the University is apprised of college requirements and expectations by attending college Academic Board meetings and Faculty Council meetings where shared reporting takes place from FE/HE student representatives. There is also a campus library user group which ensures that learners views and opinions are taken into account when planning services. My visit was really worthwhile as I learnt a lot about good partnership work in a shared service setting and was pleased to witness the positive outlook exhibited by the Library Team at Galashiels. I was especially  especially encouraged by this as I recalled the early discussions on shared library services and the concerns expressed then.


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