6 June 2016 10:31

A new chapter begins at Lancaster University Library with the official opening of the refurbished, contemporary facility which meets high design standards and user needs.

Chief Executive of the British Library Roly Keating performed the official plaque unveiling at a special ceremony on June 2.

The completion of the Library refurbishment, in December 2015, marked the end of an exciting and ambitious project to create an outstanding learning and research facility on campus.

Redevelopment work started on the Library, which opened in January 1967 with an extension added in 1997, at the end of the 2014 summer term after 18 months of intensive planning and extensive consultation with students and other users.

The project has seen a complete renovation of both the East and West Buildings with the addition of new facilities, IT infrastructure, workspaces and bookshelves.

Central to the Library is the creation of a new atrium, connecting all three floors of the original building both physically and visually, by enclosing an existing external courtyard into the building with a glass roof. The new atrium provides a calm and tranquil space for students to study.

Open balconies with integrated study spaces on the upper floors allow users to work in a well-lit, peaceful and academic environment; the primary focus of which comes from the living tree located on the ground floor.

The Library now provides a flexible, inspiring, technology-enabled environment with a range of formal and informal individual study spaces, plus enclosed group study spaces. 

There are dedicated resource points on all floors, providing facilities for printing, scanning and photocopying, as well as book issue and return.

The building has been designed to maximise natural light and offers a significant increase in power and data provision. There is comprehensive, high speed, Wi-Fi coverage throughout

A striking 1960s cast concrete staircase which had been concealed in the original building plan has been opened up and made a central feature of the new library.

The interior design strategy is based on sustainable innovation and uses materials that are innovative and visibly sustainable.

The Library is the first refurbishment project on campus to target a BREEAM Excellent standard, a measure of the building's environmental performance and impact.

Provost for Student Experience, Colleges and the Library Professor Amanda Chetwynd said: “Lancaster University now has a wonderful space for students and staff to study and access resources that reinforces and reflects the University’s reputation as a world-class centre for teaching, scholarship and research.”