IALS Transformation Project 2018-2020

Project News

The University of London has agreed to a multi-million pound refurbishment for the IALS building starting in July 2018. Additional necessary funding for the project will be sought through a fundraising campaign.

The building, its seminar rooms / lecture theatre and the main reading rooms of the Library will remain open during the two-year programme of works. There will be some noise and disruption and temporary arrangements for entry to the Library and for the Issue & Enquiry desk. Watch out for news bulletins.

IALS Library entrance / exit is now on the 2nd floor

From Wednesday 18th July 2018 onwards the temporary entrance and exit to the Library is located on the 2nd floor. The 4th floor is closed.

The Admissions Desk, Issue & Enquiry Desk, Short Loan Collection, Self-Issue facility, Photocopying, scanning and printing facilities are now located on the 2nd floor.

Library Computer and Training Room is now on the 5th floor

The Library Computer and Training is now in Room 503 on the 5th floor. From Thursday 26th July to mid-September 2018 the following summer vacation hours operate in the IALS Library Computer and Training Room:

  • Monday to Friday 9.00am to 7.35pm
  • Saturday 10.00am to 5.05pm

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IALS Transformation Project - Update November 2018

Construction work image

The total refurbishment of the 4th floor commenced as planned on Monday 10th September. The focus over these last 9 weeks has been the stripping out of all redundant elements of the floor. Partition walls have been removed, including the walls around the internal stairs to the 3rd floor. Suspended ceilings, toilets and carpet have all gone.

The most important part of the strip-out has been that of the asbestos insulating board (AIB), mostly situated behind the radiators below windows. This has been conducted by a licensed asbestos removal contractor under fully controlled conditions.

These works are monitored by the University of London’s appointed asbestos management consultant to ensure that all works are carried out in accordance with the methods submitted to, and accepted by, the Health and Safety Executive.

It is the clear policy of IALS and the University to remove the asbestos where possible and only to leave it in situ and effectively encapsulated if absolutely necessary. Upon removal of the AIB panel located directly behind the radiators, another layer of AIB was discovered bonded to the external metal panels under the windows.

After due analysis and consideration it has been decided that it is not feasible to remove the newly-discovered layer of AIB during this project. It will be left in place but safely sealed and encapsulated. The boards will not be visible or accessible but the new asbestos-free boards in front of them will be labelled to indicate the presence of asbestos.

Feedback, comments, queries and concerns can all be sent to the Project Team by emailing ials2020@london.ac.uk

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Update August 2018

July saw a run of moves and changes at IALS. This was all in preparation for the planned fitting-out works. The tendering process for the main building contract is now complete and the contract has been awarded to Overbury, a firm with experience in the Higher Education sector.

Library Access

In order to vacate the 4th floor for construction works to commence, it was necessary firstly to relocate the library entrance/exit from the 4th to the 2nd floor. This was carried out over a 10 day period from Monday 9th to Wednesday 18th July. New turnstiles were installed and after the library closed on the evening of Tuesday 17th July, the security book reader was relocated (and thankfully worked when recommissioned on the 2nd floor).

On the morning of the 18th July the computers, credit card reader, till etc, in addition to the short loan book collection, all had to be moved down and set up by 9am. It was one of those challenges where we really should have had a time lapse camera in action. The library opened on time with everything in place.

Staff Moves

The next step in the process was to move all the Library staff from the 4th to the 5th floor, which was vacated at the beginning of June when the Academic and Admin Staff relocated to Dilke House, 1 Malet Street. This move took place over 2 days on the 19th and 20th July. Staff were moved team by team and by lunchtime on the Friday everyone was able to log-on at their new desk positions.

Student Facilities

The final piece of the jigsaw was to relocate the Library Computer/Training Room from the 4th to the 5th floor.  The new room opened on Thursday 26th July having been closed for just over a week.

Construction Works

We now enter the pre-construction and site mobilisation phase of the project. Portacabins will be located on the empty land next to IALS, scaffolding will be erected and a hoist installed at the rear of the building. Visible activity will start up by the second half of August with work commencing on the 4th floor by the end of the month.

Feedback, comments, queries and concerns can all be sent to the Project Team by emailing ials2020@london.ac.uk

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Aims of the IALS Transformation Project


Internet Explorer users please click this link - A fly-through simulation of the IALS transformation project

The project will replace the infrastructure with new heating, cooling, ventilation, cabling and wifi. IALS Library will be completely refurbished and re-designed in the upcoming refurbishment. We will be able to offer a new 2nd floor entrance looking out on to Russell Square, 50 additional study desk places, bookable group study and training rooms, special needs room, 10 additional lockable library research carrels, new desk and chair furniture throughout the library, more control over our reading room heating and cooling, more self-issue laptops and improved IT services. A new dedicated study room outside the library on the 5th floor of the building will be created for IALS PhD students. This major project will take around two years but we will remain open throughout.

IALS at 70 panel 2018: Future

Find out more and follow the progress of the project at: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/about/ials-transformation-project