A view from the balcony of the Library, overlooking the desks

Fundraising Priority: The Library

Serving the diverse needs of the College community, the Kathleen Major Memorial Library is at the heart of the College's academic life. Well used and well loved, the Library’s collections and the space itself are, however, now showing their age. Meanwhile, with more students now accommodated in College, the Library is experiencing greater demand for its services and study space. It is imperative that we undertake a programme of renovation and improvement to ensure that the Library meets the needs of current students in both resources and space. At a minimum, we must ensure that each study space has access to power sockets, additional lighting, and study aids.

Our ultimate goal is to develop the space within the Library to support both the traditional, open plan, silent study areas and to address new demand for places for small group discussion and secluded corners for those who work best in this way. 

We therefore seek the support of alumnae and friends of the College to contribute to the Library Fund so that those who use it will continue to find it a safe, effective and inspiring place to in which to work.

Equal access to the Library

We are planning a significant alteration to the layout of the basement of the Library, allowing all students straightforward access to its facilities and holdings, as well as creating new spaces for study groups. The only step-free access to the Library in its current layout involves leaving the College site entirely and re-entering further along Cowley Place. The proposed new entrance to the Library will be at the far end of Hall Garden, via an attractive landscaped ramp that all can use. 

As well as improving access to the Library, the plans will also see the creation of five new study booths and a Library office at the new entrance, as well as a new dedicated graduate study space. An additional benefit of this refurbishment is that the Anne Elliott Garden, currently located in a little-used area between the Library and Cowley Place, can be moved to the new landscaped entrance. This memorial will be re-dedicated and will include the original benches in this more prominent site, creating a welcoming space in the name of this much-loved Fellow.

The estimated total cost of the redevelopment of the entrance to the Kathleen Major Library is £500,000. The new spaces to be created internally offer excellent naming opportunities for gifts between £15,000 and £200,000.

Our longer term plans

The upgrading of the library facilities and resources is a long-term effort to meet the constantly changing needs of staff and students. All gifts to the Library Fund enable us to make the improvements and ensure our students have the best possible support for their work.

Here are some examples of how gifts to the Library Fund could be used:

£10 could buy a new book to add to the collections

£20 could purchase a book stand

£30 would provide an 8-way extension lead with USB ports

£50 could buy a desk lamp

£200 could provide a height adjustable chair or a standing desk converter

£500 would fund a shared library desk with inbuilt power

£1000 could be used for a bay of fixed shelving

£3000 would purchase an archival standard display case

With your help, the Kathleen Major Memorial Library will continue to fulfil its important role at the heart of St Hilda’s.

Donate now to make a difference

A student studying in St Hilda's Library
A student working at one of the Library's balcony desksImages shows the proposed new library entrance, including step-free access from Hall Garden.A view into the Library through a porthole in the woodwork