News - June 2012

Creating a library fit for the future

14 June 2012

The Brynmor Jones Library is the academic heart of the University of Hull’s city campus. It is to benefit from a multi-million pound investment, creating a stunning new focal point for students, staff, and visitors alike.

Library - proposed south elevationThe University is planning to dramatically improve and modernise the Brynmor Jones Library.

< Library - proposed south elevation

Stunning architecture combined with state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure will ensure that the library remains an inspirational place to study and work, with flexible learning spaces to accommodate the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students. The project will make the library a hub for community engagement on campus, helping to support the strategic aspiration of the University to be an anchor institution in its local communities.  

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Calie Pistorius, said: “The University is committed to providing an outstanding student experience and this major investment is proof of that commitment. The plans will ensure that the Brynmor Jones Library not only continues to be a vital place of academic study and research, but is also a gateway into the University for the wider community.”

Library - atrium

< Atrium

The library is home to a million books and a wealth of other resources including periodicals, CDs, DVDs, videos and maps. Library users can also access a huge range of digital material such as electronic journals, electronic books, databases and datasets, ensuring that they are connected to information from across the globe.

As well as being at the geographical heart of the Hull campus the Brynmor Jones Library also has a fascinating place in its history - poet and former librarian Philip Larkin famously oversaw its construction more than half a century ago.

Dr Richard Heseltine, University Librarian, said: “We have consulted extensively with students and staff and the renewed library will reflect advances in technology and learning practices. The plans include more flexibility for teaching and study space, allowing students to work in groups or privately, and improved IT systems that will enable students to use devices such as laptops or tablets anywhere in the building. The whole ground floor will be open to the public, with a new space housing the University Art Collection and hosting public exhibitions and events.”

The upper floors will also undergo a major reconfiguration, including the creation of a viewing area on the top floor with panoramic views across Hull and the East Riding, and a space where schools and other groups can learn what the view tells us about the geography and history of the area. 

Work is expected to start in late summer and will take around 18 months to complete. The library will remain open throughout this period.

Alex Solk, Associate Partner from Sheppard Robson and Architectural Lead on the project said: “The tremendous history of the Brynmor Jones Library places a great responsibility on us as designers to deliver a contemporary learning facility which also respects the library's heritage and that of England's 14th oldest university. Drawing on the latest research in design for higher education, the new library will respond to the needs of students and staff, as well as supporting the University's wider outreach aspirations. We are enormously excited to be working with the University of Hull on this project.”

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