Case Story: University of Birmingham

Fast Action – Right Response

“We had a very short time to replace our existing equipment, Lyngsoe offered the best planning, products, service, and support”

Frances Machell, Head of Digital Library and Collection Management

About the Library

The University of Birmingham, England’s first ‘redbrick’ university to receive a royal charter, has a truly international and diverse community of students and staff. It is a global, top100 university, the 1st most targeted university in the UK by top employers and has one of the largest international student communities in the UK.

The university estate is large and varied covering 672 acres, with over 200 buildings of different ages, ranging from grade one and two listed properties to brand new state-of-the-art learning and research spaces.

Catering for over 36,000, the university has several specialist libraries and a Main Library on its Edgbaston 276-acre campus. The libraries hold 1.8 million print and 500,000 online books, and more than 85,000 print and online journals.

Improving Functionality

Upgrading – tight timing

The Main Library, opened in 2016, has a stock of 350,000 on three floors and 1million in the basement. Although originally fully equipped with self-service and stock management systems the library management team found it was becoming difficult to maintain, was not Windows 10 compatible and, with the five-year contracts expiring, not being fully supported. 

The university urgently needed replacements here and in the Barnes, Medical, Library.

With funding available, but short timescales, the Estates and library team needed to act quickly, whilst ensuring replacement products would meet their framework agreement of high quality, fast delivery and installation, confidence in the supplier and their long-term commitment.


The Solution

All together – all delivered

APUC was approached with requirements, deadlines were outlined and, as the best fit, Lyngsoe was awarded the contract.

Lyngsoe’s response was impressive, they were on site for a planning meeting only four days after our first contact. Their comprehensive proposals and guarantees to install within the deadline winning them the contract,” said Frances.

Working with the university team the installation of eight self-service kiosks with MiFare, a nine-bin sorter, a single and a double aisle detection system, central management, and staff workstations across two sites was agreed upon. With just over two months to complete planning and preparation were key. Despite the tight schedule Lyngsoe delivered on their promises and met all the university’s demands.



Full service – fine finish

Frances and the team were impressed “Lyngsoe met all our criteria… their products and systems are first class, their speed of response and delivery exceptional, follow-up and on-going support faultless. All the positive things we had heard from others in the profession were true.”

The design of the kiosk is simple and stylish, they sit well in both the new Main Library and the classic Barnes Library. Although reasonably large, the sorter is compact and fits perfectly into the space allocated. It has two student book returns in the foyer, designed both to suit the interior design whilst providing a clear focal point.

A later addition is an exterior book drop and sorter unit. Used occasionally, when the library is closed, this is a new Lyngsoe unit now available in the UK.

The Results

The Main Library is enhanced, practically and visually, by the way the kiosks and sorter are designed and the Barnes Medical Library, despite the limited space has excellent monitoring and management of access and stock.

With installation complete, Frances is delighted with the new systems and services.

Self-service works brilliantly, students are comfortable using the kiosks, we just turned them on and…no problems. The same with the sorter and detection systems, excellent feedback from staff and students, and with only minimal staff training needed

Needless to say, the quality of the equipment, the care in planning and clear communication all made the installation and subsequent opening perfect. Despite the demanding timescales of the project, and concerns of the Estate and library management teams, everyone was happy with the outcome. Such was the interest in this installation that, on completion, Lyngsoe had colleagues from their Danish operation, including the Senior Vice President, Henrik Kjeldgaard, fly over to visit the university.

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