X Close

LibNet staff news



LIBER Architecture Group visit UCL – 23/10

Benjamin Meunier24 October 2014

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.

European library networking and developments

Paul Ayris17 July 2013

The UNIMAIL, University of Geneva

The UNIMAIL, University of Geneva

In June, I was honoured to chair two European library conferences. The first was the 8th OAI Workshop on Current Developments in Scholarly Communication at the University of Geneva. This is a regular series of Workshops which takes places in Geneva every two years. The Programme can be seen here and the presentation powerpoints are clickable from the Programme. There were 296 registered delegates, a record for the OAI series.

The Workshop is designed to showcase scholarly communication developments for libraries, publishers, policy makers, research funders and researchers. There were presentations on policy developments, tool development, the progress of Open Access in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, research data and lots more.

The Workshops are the major showcase for Open Access in the year in which they are held. For me, the sessions on research data were particularly important. UCL has just approved its policy for the management of research data. It places important obligations on UCL Library Services and the Library is keen to meet the challenge. Data-driven research represents a revolution in the way research is undertaken and there is an important role for libraries to support researchers as we move forward.

University of Munich

University of Munich

At the end of June, I also chaired the 42nd LIBER Annual Conference at Munich, hosted by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The Conference website can be found here. Presentations and video summaries from each of the 3 days of the Conference are available here.

The LIBER Conference is held each year and is the major library conference in Europe for academic and research libraries, attracting just under 400 registrations in 2013. The Programme was wide ranging. We were pleased to have Professor Geoffrey Boulton from the Royal Society address the Conference on the issue of data-driven science. I also gave a presentation on the role of libraries in the wake of the data deluge.

LIBER 2014 will be in Riga in Latvia, and then in 2015 it will be in London, where it will be co-hosted by UCL Library Services and Senate House Libraries. There will be plenty of opportunities for colleagues in UCL Library Services to help with Conference organisation and to attend Conference sessions.


Paul Ayris

Director of Library Services