By Megan Thomas

Work to update the inside of the Taliesin building has finally been completed. Starting at the beginning of the year, the construction has created a brand new study space for Swansea students. The area replaces the John Smith bookshop, popular for package deals on books for certain lecture courses, and the Oriel Williams Art Gallery, especially popular with residents for highlighting local talent. The study zone boasts new seating areas and plenty of plugs to give students vital extra space during deadline season.

The space itself is full of light and extremely comfortable, yet there have been many students concerned whether or not it was worth losing the bookshop and art gallery, not to mention the hefty £2 million price tag.

The closure of the Oriel Williams Art Gallery prompted a fierce response from angry residents. The “Friends of Oriel Ceri Williams Gallery” held a series of protests outside the Taliesin building in an attempt to save the gallery before it was eventually closed to make room for the new area.

The closure of the on-campus John Smith Bookshop has also caused controversy within the student body. The bookshop has sites on universities like the University of Birmingham and the University of Chester, yet the Swansea shop was closed before the remodelling began. Many students miss services like the ability to sell back their old books to the shop. The John Smith bookshop is still available online.

A source that wishes to not be identified was shocked at the cost, suggesting that the space was not worth the price. Many saying that, whilst the space is attractive, it is not worth that much investment. Some students suggested that improving the facilities already in the library would be a better use of money.

The facilities are attractive and there’s no denying that more space to study is always welcome; whether this would be better as a temporary area during exam season or a permanent zone is up to debate.


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