On Thursday 23rd October, the Organizing Committee of LIBER Architecture Group came to visit UCL. This branch of LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) specialises in the design of library space. The committee includes representatives from France, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Switzerland. Their Chair, Ulrich Niederer, is Director of the Central and University Library, Luzern.
The group were first hosted by Kate Cheney at the Cruciform Hub where they found the quality and sheer variety of learning spaces available to be an inspiration for future projects at their respective institutions. It was especially heartening to have such good feedback since one of the visitors, Liesbeth Mantel from Delft University of Technology, had been one of our sources of inspiration for the developments at the Cruciform and the Bartlett.
The next visit was of the Main Library, where Scott Foulon showcased recent Library refurbishment projects including the Octagon and Oculus in the Flaxman Gallery, plus the the brand new Returns room with the impressive autosorter behind its glass wall.
Each visitor received a goodie bag during afternoon tea, in Paul Ayris’ office (pictured below). Special thanks to colleagues who helped put the bags together at short notice!
The day concluded with visits to The Bartlett Library and SSEES Library. Suzanne Tonkin led the tour of The Bartlett Library in Central House, where LIBER guests were impressed by the homely feel of the space. At SSEES, Lesley Pitman showcased the wonderful vistas around the building’s central lightwell and visitors enjoyed exploring the building’s nooks and crannies. Colleagues from the Czech Republic also found plenty of interesting and familiar material in the collection!
Overall, the day was a great success and a wonderful opportunity to display the best of UCL Library Services’ new learning spaces in Bloomsbury. The Committee is planning the next LIBER Architecture Group seminar in Freiburg in 2016 – for more information on the group, you can visit their website.