Visit to Maughan Library, King’s College London (Strand Campus)


We had our first library visit outside the UEL today i.e The Maughan Library (Strand Campus) & Franklin-Wilkins Library (Waterloo Campus) of King’s College London (KCL).  KCL is one of England’s oldest and most prestigious institution based in the heart of London.  It was founded by King George IV and Duke of Wellington in 1829 and in 1936 it became one of two founding colleges of University of London.  It is ranked as one of the world’s top 30 Universities.  It has more than 24000 students and 6100 employees.   Ten people who taught or studied  at KCL and its associated institutions have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Myself and Henry met at Chancery Lane station at 10:00 am and Ms. Leah Maughan, Assistant Librarian at UEL’s Stratford Campus joined us at the same time. She accompanied with us throughout  the day for both the library visits. Our first visit was to The Maughan Library at Strand Campus.  Since the Maughan Library is close to the Chancery Lane station, we just walked to the library. As per our scheduled appointment, Mr. Keith Hills from Maughan Library was waiting for us at the entrance, we introduced ourselves to him before he took us around the library.

With Ms. Leah Maughan and Mr. Keith Hills

With Ms. Leah Maughan and Mr. Keith Hills

The Maughan Library is home to American studies, Australian studies, Byzantine & modern Greek, classics, computer science, cultural & creative industries, digital culture & technology, engineering, English, European studies, film studies, French, geography, German, history, international relations, law, linguistics, mathematics, medical ethics, music, philosophy, physics, politics, political economy, Portuguese & Brazilian studies, Spanish & Spanish-American studies, theology & religious studies, war studies.

The library is housed in the heritage building (Grade II) which was used to house the Govt. Records earlier.  The library provide  Audio Tour to the new students and staff  with players and headphone kept at the ground lift lobby to take this unique personal tour of the Maughan Library to learn some fascinating historical facts about the building along with practical information to help you make the best use of the library for your studies.  Mr. Keith Hills took us around the library and showed us various sections of the library and explained important library services including the computing facilities that are available to students. Mr. Keith is lovely person to talk to and kept us always in good humorous  with his one liners in between the explanation.  The library recently upgraded their IT infrastructure and new Self-service machines (Bibliotheca) have been installed at the entrance. Their service desks are under renovation.   Professionally qualified Information Specialists (Subject Librarians) with subject expertise are on hand to discuss students study and research needs. They have developed a series of subject support webpages which highlight relevant resources for every School and department.  The Information Specialists are available for each one of the ten Schools of Kings College London who offers advice on wide range of issues including arranging series of welcome events, selecting resources and getting most of them; access to external library and information services & referencing your work and avoiding plagiarism.  The Information Management team offer a wide range of support for Research Data Management at King’s. This includes assistance for researchers in academic Schools and Departments as well as staff involved with research support activities across Professional Services.  A recently conducted survey of researchers at King’s to gather information about the types of electronic data being created and the future storage needs for such data has helped to develop the College’s roadmap for managing research data over the next three years.  To provide better library space for the students, the library has created three different Discuss, Quiet and Silent zones within the library.  Group study rooms in the libraries are equipped with large screens which can be used for practising presentations.  Another interesting section of the library was Laptop on Loans for 24 hours which is self-operated with access controls. The students can loan a laptop FREE of cost  and use it withing the campus. However, there is heavy fine if returns after the 24 hours.  We thanked Mr. Kieth in the end for sparing his time.

Study Room at Maughan Library

Study Room at Maughan Library

Self-service Laptops on Loan

Self-service Laptops on Loan

With the Staff of Special Collection Library

With the Staff of Special Collection Library

We also visited The Foyle Special Collection Library, which forms part of the Maughan Library and Information Service Centre building. The collection comprises over 170,000 books, pampletes, journals, maps and other printed items of historical importance.  The special collections are broad in scope, ranging from the fifteenth century to the present day and in subject from human anatomy to modern Greek poetry.  One of the staff at the Special Collections library showed us some of the fifteenth century books (original copy) and the oldest being 1483. They use special cushions on which these books  will kept for reading.  The library works closely with academic staff to provide seminars on aspects of Special Collections for groups of undergraduate and postgraduate students.  It also run a programme of thematic exhibitions, which explore different aspects of the collections in depth.  I could see one of the oldest reference of Hindu marriage ceremony in the Queen’s Empire book.

Photos of the visit to The Maughan Library are available at Photo Gallery


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