A ‘welcome home’ for students of Erasmus University Rotterdam: on Thursday 29 June, the university is celebrating the reopening of the university library. The building is light, open and offers students more than 900 places to study. Erasmus University can now boast a modern university library, catering for the needs of today’s students and scholars.
Since October 2015, considerable work has been carried out to renovate the university library. The result is a lighter, more spacious and conveniently laid out building, offering at least 900 study places and a new entrance.
As a result of this major renovation, the university library is ready for the future. Once a place from which to borrow tangible books, the university library is now primarily a place to study, as well as to work and get together with other students. Today’s digital world means that, more than ever, students want face-to-face contact. And, given the internationalisation of the student population, the need for a person to have their own spot is also increasing.
As a centre of academic knowledge within the university, the university library contributes to the creation and dissemination of this knowledge. It’s for students and employees in the first place, but everyone is welcome, for example, members of the Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet, which is now sited at the heart of the university library.
The doors of the newly renovated university library were opened at the start of June. And already the students seem to feel very at home there; they think it’s an excellent place to study and get together. In fact, by eight in the morning, they are standing in a queue waiting to get in. The new library offers various types of study places; the most popular are the study cells, where students can revise for exams in silence, away from other students.
Students and employees were even able to contribute ideas to their new home’s fixtures and fittings. In particular, the university library has an exceptional work of art: a wall of approximately 1,000 tiles, hand-painted by students and employees, under the guidance of the artist Marijn van Kreij.
Matthijs van Otegem, Director of the University Library: “I’m very proud of the open feel of the new library. This is what science should be: accessible to everyone who wants access.”
A building with a history
The university library building (designed by the architects Elfers, Van der Heyden and Hoogeveen) dates from 1969. At that time, it was part of what was then the new Netherlands School of Economics (NEH) building; NEH was the legal predecessor to Erasmus University.
Architect Jef van den Putte was responsible for the design of the new university library. This renovation is part of Campus under Construction; the renewal of Erasmus University’s campus, making it a pleasant place to study, work and live. Among other things, it involved increasing the total number of places to study from 1,200 to 1,900.