Eurolis seminar – 22/11/12

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EUROLIS Seminar – 22/11/12
Held in Instituto Cervantes, London – they have a new library which has ceiling height book shelves and metallic sliding ladders to reach, non browsable, health and safety, disability issues, had an ipad locked to a table, high bench PC with 2 “ikea-style” bench chairs, crowded space, did have “fireplaces”, did have outside balcony with chairs
EUROLIS – is mainly libraries of cultural institutes in London
Olaf Eigenbrodt

Spoke about fluid libraries (Saudi library – lots money and no gender separation, interested in new technologies)

old style was communal – static – order NOW digitalisastion student with laptop

create a hybrid space – zoning in libraries without disturbing

living room space – fireplace in library (public library near Atlanta, USA), space to gather and meet

party location – German library students having a birthday party (with sparklers)

lounge – is common eg Humboldt Uni, Berlin, soft nice armchairs, a working lounge space

gaming workshop- Denmark – kids and adults play games

landmark – Oslo public library (oil money)
community building – invite folks to libraries to talk then get them to sign on a wall as a record (small public library NE Germany)

tourist info – Iceland

citizen’s service in Denmark “tower of knowledge”
third space – he’s not convinced of the transfer of this term from sociology to library, non-commercial and free space to communicate – library already is one.
Fluid space – Dali and the fluid memory – “liquid democracy”

Matrix film – data stream, data is through all of use (matrix) - ?

A stream of information flowing through the library – internet is the stream
BUT what to do with books, if fluid do they fit?

Create library or book islands with additional multi-media eg

RFID return shelves

Multimedia smart boards – use for group working or watching movies

“acoustic shower” so not loud in the surrounding areas

“lift dispenser” – chaotic storage of books – as a mobile library

Smart table near Zurich, RFID labels on books, table has antennae so if books are on table appears in catalogue which table they are on, books can be anywhere, a new form of serendipity
Library island – Saudi ideas – front covers of all books on show in these triangular islands

Inside the islands are working space, more books, multimedia, tables and exhibition spaces in-between

Karen Latimer

On LIBER architecture group committee, from Queens Uni Belfast

HE – increased student nos/e-resources/self service/group study/24/7

Create attactive welcome places – emphasis on user not just stock

Funding pressures – moving from iconic to sustainable
“buzz terms”

Selfrenewing library

Hybrid library

Third place

collections versus connections

learning cafes and information commons (all your info together)

demise physical library

evaluation (point of evaluation)


Value for money



Berlin “brain” library

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library”. Whoever enters the philological library of the Free University, to them, Jorge Luis Borges’s idea seems very plausible. The new-build by Lord Norman Foster, in which the libraries of all the philological departments have been consolidated, is a fascinating architecture of the mind.” – quote from website above

Birmingham Central Library – due to open next Autumn

Aberdeen Uni Library – just open, still has issues

Queens Uni Belfast – recently opened but less need for service points and too big, created furniture and lighting and signage to be key (minimal signage is key to good orientation)

Seating – choice plus different sorts of lighting, individual

More reading space, group study, ICT, research areas, event and meeting space

Self service increased – 24/7 initially limited now whole building

Relationship books and reading areas
Edinburgh Uni – 2nd phase next spring
Clapham public library – furniture on wheels
Rolex learning centre (France) – no walls or impediments, promenade with exterior meeting rooms, wi-fi, students with laptops – database

jisc – designing technology rich learning space

twitter @librarydesign

Liber Architecture Group

NAPLE library buildings database

IFLA library buildings and equipment, includes guidelines
Alfonso Munoz Cosme

Spanish architect showed that library space (buildings) have only been around for a short period to complement the books ie libraries have been books not nex buildings

Harry Faulkner’s 10 commandments
“people want to work together alone” – Charles Forrest, librarian, Atlanta
The future is circular – ie cafes yes – then no – then yes again, same with books?
Marie-Francoise Bisbrouck

French freelance libraries consultant

France very uptight about comfy seating and not into colour or playful

Libraries have now diversified styles of reading seats

France – seats with high sides
Chess board, - promote relaxation (dominoes???)
Floor lamps – Paris public libraries like home

Bedside lamps – thread through spaces to link them

National library, Prague, rainbow floor, graffiti

Theme rooms – scenery on the walls as paintings

Lausanne – students sleeping on beanbags, wee small mobile tables

Noise – small areas of absolute quiet – whilst rest of library is noisy

“are we always in touch with our users needs?” – our thoughts versus users needs

Do librarians become “social workers”?

Ana Bela Pereira Martins

Portugeuese librarian

Sociological discussion around the fact that Portugal has not had many libraries before 1975, created libraries in very very rural areas, and they have brought on the community

Concluding Panel Discussion

Sergio – created Ideas Stores in London Tower Hamlets – “learning labs” Peckham Ideas Store

Queens Uni – footfall increased, fight for monies due to open access journals

Germany – footfall up 32% but borrowing down

Make librarians visible as folks have questions eg t-shirts, badges
A question – “how big is a social space” – no specific standards
France – uni desks are too long and fixed
Flexibility – rather than being everything flexibile right now the flexibility is to use rooms flexibly over time eg meeting rooms when free become quiet study space
Goette Institute Library, London – everything modular, could almost change in an hour
Karen Latimer suggested sometimes flexibility can be used as an excuse for not properly thinking out adjacancies

Flexibility for users – what they want

Lynn Easton 22/11/12

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