The history of the building is being a public record office until the 1980s. The college didn’t move the library into the space until 2000. It is unique because it has been designed as a fire proof building. It contains cast iron and slate shelves in small storage areas. The cast iron doors of old are now part of the décor. I fell in love with the octagonal reading room with 3 floors of shelving.
The Maughan Library has two desks to indicate support. One desk is library reference desk while the other desk is student support in all other college matters. The library uses technology, such as the machines for self-issue and self-return of items. I was fascinated by the automated laptop checkout. There are different kinds of areas of study, such as the silence zone, quiet zone, and group zone which are self-policed by the students using the library.
The most useful information that I received to apply toward my career as a librarian was the steps taken from start to finish of setting up an exhibition.
Did you know that King’s College is located in the historic printing press area? The Special Collections library contains 200,000 items from the 15th century to present. Items need to merit conservation.
The collections of chapter books and popular medicine caught my attention. The chapter books collection composes of books that were cheap and printed in the local area of the college that were sold to illiterate readers. The books were about fairy-tales, politics, and folklore that contained woodcut drawings. Another collection is popular medicine because the items are cheap, easy to buy, but are still uncommon items. The library’s collection of 18th century medicine books have been digitized by Internet Archives.
I did enjoy seeing the Benjamin Franklin signed book “Charters of Pennsylvania” from 1742 which was the Colonial Office copy. Another item was the Thomas Payne signed copy of Common Sense published in 1776. That book had blanked out the controversial text that someone filled it in later by hand.
An interesting fact is that there are no objects in their Special Collection.