University of Limerick today unveiled the new UL Glucksman Library, which has now doubled in size and capacity having added an extra 7,600 sq. metres to the original library building. The New Glucksman Library now includes a range of world class innovations in book storage and retrieval, digital research, accessibility and ‘inspirational learning spaces’. One stand out feature is the ARC (Automated Reserve Collection) – a 10 meter high book vault and robotic crane, with the capacity to store 500,000 volumes in a space 1/9th of conventional shelving, which will see UL’s historic collections, currently housed off-site, returned to campus.
Speaking at the launch, UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald said: ‘The new Library is 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 library, on of the busiest places on campus, will now provide 2,200 study spaces and a range of specialist zones to meet the changing needs of UL students and researchers.
The building was designed by RKD Architects, led by Denis Brereton 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 discrete 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.
UL Chancellor Mary Harney described the New Glucksman Library as an exciting development for the Mid West region, especially as UL nears its 30th anniversary as a university.
The new building is named for the Glucksman family, long time supporters of the university and in particular the UL library development. Speaking at the event Loretta Brennan Glucksman praised the building’s progressive design and its foucs 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 UL with additional space for 100,000 volumes in environmentally controlled storage, which will allow UL to grow its holding of manuscripts and rare book items.’