User involvement in the Open University library building project

Mary Hunt (The Open University Library, Milton Keynes, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 28 March 2008



The purpose of the paper is to show that the Open University library building project was particularly successful for its inclusion of library staff. This was mainly due to the emphasis on a partnering ethos with integrated workshops. The paper identifies the value of such approaches in all building projects and highlights additional factors that enabled a full contribution from the Library.


The Open University project is used as a case study of user involvement in a building project.


The paper finds that making partnering work is dependent on putting in place a structured approach that incorporates all the elements included in the definition: delivering better value for partners; reducing duplication and waste of resources; identifying and evaluating progress towards mutual objectives; developing an issue resolution process; and measuring through the use of performance indicators.


This is the only example of a partnering project used for a library building known to the author. Promoting the advantages of partnering and integrated teamworking is of value to the construction industry as well as to clients (Estates departments) and building users (library staff and customers).



Hunt, M. (2008), "User involvement in the Open University library building project", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 3/4, pp. 166-172.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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