A New Entrance for the Main Library

Since the early days of planning the Centennial Campus and University Street, there has been the view held that somehow the Main Library should be better integrated into the human traffic flow emanating from these structures and the new MTR stations. For some years now the notion of a new Main Library entrance has been proposed, discussed and approved by various committees including the Senate Library Committee and the University’s Accommodation Committee. Planning is now concluded for this new entrance with construction work commencing in May 2015 and a projected completion of January 2016. (delayed till June 2016)

The new entrance will be located at the west side of the New Wing on the 2nd floor. When completed, the entrance will connect the Main Library to the University Street via the 2nd Floor Green Roof and will serve as the main entrance to the Main Library. The existing main entrance on the ground floor will continue as a point of access but all services currently on that floor will be relocated to the 2nd floor.

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With this new entrance and relocation of services we are taking the opportunity to remedy some of the existing main entrance shortcomings through intelligent design: the new entrance will provide improvements in traffic flow movements for entry, exit and orientation; face to face staff services will be provided to readers before entering the Library; a secure 24 hour book return using RFID technology with a book sorting mechanism; an improved dedicated, yet flexible, exhibition space; a small presentation area for book talks etc.; a new books display area, and a variety of flexible, casual seating. Additionally, the new entrance will provide a warm, welcoming and inspirational environment as readers will enter the library immediately beneath the existing atrium with its vertical expansiveness. Furthermore we will improve the existing Green Roof with new, landscaping foliage and furniture befitting the entrance’s ambience.

With this significant development in the Libraries’ infrastructure there will necessarily be some disruption. Apart from the relocation of services, there is the need to relocate the books on the 2nd floor in the area in question to the ground floor as well as the compact shelving on the 2nd floor. Additionally, the existing study carrels will be distributed around the library, mostly to the ground floor. And, of course, there will be the inevitable construction noise. I hope you will tolerate the temporary inconvenience that the construction will generate in order to further improve our Main Library.

Peter E. Sidorko
University Librarian

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