Less space for more books at new €31 million UL Glucksman library

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A BOOK vault that can store half a million volumes in little more than a tenth of the space occupied by conventional shelving is one of the stand-out features of the new Glucksman Library that was officially opened last Friday.

Video: Cian Reinhardt

The Automated Reserve Collection (ARC) comprises of a 10 meter high book vault and robotic crane that will allow UL’s historic collections, currently housed off-site, to be returned to campus.

The Glucksman Library project, which included an extensive refurbishment of the original library building, was delivered at a cost of €31million and will provide 2,200 study spaces along with a range of specialist zones to meet the changing needs of students and researchers. It is double the size and capacity of the original structure with an extra 7,600 sq. metres added to the building.

Rededicated by Loretta Brennan Glucksman, it includes a range of world-class innovations in book storage and retrieval, digital research, accessibility and learning spaces.

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UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald described the new library as “an engaging and creative space for learning and research at the heart of the campus.

“Leveraging UL’s tradition for innovation, the library is technology–rich with advanced computing, collaboration and communication space alongside traditional scholarly areas.’

The building was designed by RKD Architects, led by Denis Bretherton and UL’s Director of Library and Information Services, Gobnait O’Riordan.

It features a Law Library and Appellate Court and a Medical and Health Sciences Library. There are dedicated spaces for postgraduate and faculty study, group study and exhibition spaces. Other bespoke areas include a Digital Scholarship Centre, Social Learning Spaces and an Assistive Technology Centre.

The new building is named for the Glucksman family, longtime supporters of the university and in particular the UL library development.

Loretta Brennan Glucksman praised the building’s progressive design and its focus on the future needs of students.

“There is simply no substitute for an extensive collection of accumulated knowledge in books, essays, periodicals and other academic resources,’ she said.

“The development of the ARC will provide an additional capacity of 500,000 volumes that are readily accessible to library users. Unique and distinctive archives and special collections are increasing in importance as a basis for research and as distinguishing features of the university.

“The new facility provides additional space for 100,000 volumes in environmentally controlled storage, which will allow UL to grow its holding of manuscripts and rare book items,” she added.

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