Library Development Project

Phase 2 of the Library Development Project concentrates on improving Clifford Whitworth Library. The main library will benefit from a complete refurbishment resulting in an increase of study spaces and PC provision.

These pages tell you what work we're doing and how it will affect you.

You can also keep up to date via our blog and if you have any queries please email us at:


The theme of the refurbishment is “the library in the park” celebrating the fact that Clifford Whitworth library overlooks the historic Peel Park – the first municipal park in the UK - which opened to the public 170 years ago this summer. There will be elements within the design and artwork which draw upon this theme.

There will be much more variety in the type of spaces available to study within the library – we’ve tried to put what you’ve told us about the way you want to learn at the heart of the plans.

We’ll need to work with our contractors to agree exactly what can be undertaken within our budget, but the work we are currently hoping to do is as follows:

  • The ground floor will be opened up to create a more welcoming entrance to the building.
  • We will increase the number of PCs in the building and locate them closer to the book stock.
  • We will put more power onto desktops so that you can plug in your mobile devices as you sit and study.
  • There will be an increase in study spaces to better accommodate the busy times of year.
  • There will be an increase in bookable group workrooms, and introduction of bookable individual study rooms.
  • The PGR study space will be moved to the second floor and as well as study areas will include a breakout area, a shared bookable meeting room, and a drinks making point.
  • We will put in new ceilings and lighting throughout, and rewire the entire building.
  • We will improve air handling and ventilation

We talked to students and staff and looked at feedback that we'd had and identified the following areas as priorities:

  • Improve the layout of the books to open up the space
  • Enhance the look and feel of the upper floors of the building
  • Improve zoning so that the silent areas work better, and there is a more natural flow through the building
  • Improve wayfinding and signage throughout the building
  • Develop the facilities offered to postgraduate students
  • Increase power socket availability for mobile devices
  • Upgrade the lighting and ventilation
  • Create more bookable space, both for group work and individual study
  • Create spaces which are more flexible and diverse
  • Enable the relocation of Adelphi library to the Peel Park Campus

The really good news is that the Library should not be too noisy during the day as we are undertaking most of the work overnight. The staged approach to the work will mean that as much of the building will remain in use as is possible but there will be some inconvenience whilst construction work takes place.

Additional study spaces across campus

There won’t be any access to areas where construction work is taking place, and we’ll be storing books on the ground floor.

This means that there will be a temporary but significant reduction in the number of study spaces in the building, so we’re setting up alternative study spaces around campus for you to work in. We’re creating a pop up library space at Chapman, and extending its opening hours and Lady Hale building to include evenings and weekends. Whilst our silent area is not available we will create an additional silent study space on Clifford Whitworth ground floor.

There are also many other areas around campus for you to work in, which are all accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

Building/room Facilities Support Opening hours
Chapman 1st floor Collaborative study spaces
Bookable group work rooms
IT help desk
Library help desk
Term time: Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm
Weekend: 10am – 10pm
Lady Hale
ground floor
Collaborative study spaces Roving library support Term time: Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm
Weekend: 10am - 10pm
Allerton Learning Space Silent study spaces
Collaborative study spaces
Bookable group work rooms
Laptop loans
Printing pay station
Assistive technology
Adjustable height desks
Library help desk Mon-Fri 8am – 9pm
Staffed: 9am – 5pm
Allerton concourse Collaborative study spaces Roving library support Mon-Fri 8am – 9pm
New Adelphi Collaborative study spaces which includes:
The café area on the ground floor
The bar seating area on Level 2
The collaboration space (with seating and vending machines) on Level 3
The atrium - where there is bench seating
Roving library support Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm
Peel basement PCs and printing Roving library support Mon-Fri 9am – 4pm
Maxwell Silent study space with PCs
PCs areas
Adjustable height desks
Roving library support Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm

We may need to restrict access to the building for external members and visitors at certain times to reduce the pressure on study space for our own staff and students.

Finding a PC

We have over 300 PCs available in rooms across Peel Park and Frederick Road campuses, so you should be able to find one to use. If you need a PC and there are none available in Clifford Whitworth Library you have several options:

  • Check the PC availability screens
  • Borrow a laptop – we have 180 laptops available for loan at Allerton Learning Space and Clifford Whitworth Library. Our laptops give you access to everything which you would find on a networked PC, including printing.

Extra help when you’re studying elsewhere

You’ll still have access to the helpdesk whilst the work takes place. And because we know that you’ll need to find other places around campus to work, our Library staff will be visiting other study areas and PC suites across Campus to offer support. You can also use our 24 hour chat service, text support service, phone and email.

Increase in your loan limits

We’ve increased your borrowing limits to make it easier for you to get access to the stock you need – so come in, grab what you need and find somewhere else to study if it’s really busy.

Whilst books are being packed up and moved there will be times when you can’t get what you need, but we’ll try to direct you to alternative sources, or retrieve items for you where possible.

Let us know if you’re having problems so we can do something about them.

We’ll use a variety of ways to get in touch with you to keep you up to date on the work, including these web pages, our blog and Twitter - look out for #LibraryinthePark. We’ll be tweeting out a weekly update to let you know about any likely disruption during the forthcoming week. If you have any questions you can email us on

The library gets very busy at certain times of the year so we’re going to be phasing the work to try to avoid disruption during key times, such as exams.


Stage 1: June 2016 – December 2016

This will include the redevelopment of the whole of the second floor, plus the extension, and part of the first floor.

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Stage 2: June 2017 – December 2017

This will include the redevelopment of the PC suite on the first floor, plus the whole of the ground floor.

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