The Lingnan University Library at Patrick Lee Wan Keung Academic Building was built in 1995 with three storeys including the ground floor. It was added 2 new floors in 2005 so that the Library occupies 1/F to 4/F, together with other offices of the University. Throughout the past 25 years, the Library has just undergone one major renovation in 2006/2007 by reorganising some areas on 1/F to support student activities and exhibitions and setting up 2 new reading rooms on 3/F to provide more study seats for students.
The physical setting in the Library after renovation in 2005
Since then, there is no increase in space and no renovation / spatial reorganisation to cope with the increase in collections, and the need for more space for different learning, study and research activities. The library collections have exceeded over 0.6 million of physical materials and will continue to grow to support the learning, teaching and research activities of the University. To accommodate the annual library physical collection increase, the 1/F (Entrance Level) of the Library has become an ocean of book stacks over the years, with little and unorganised space for other study and learning activities of students. Yet, the demands of education in the 21st century make the library space increasingly inadequate to meet the different and competing needs of users.
On the one hand, in the digital age of the 21st century, there is an increasing need for the Library to provide a more flexible and dynamic environment that blends technology with other physical and social spaces in the library to provide a different learning experience for the new generation of digital-native students. On the other hand, technology also shifts the research needs of Faculty. They are now requesting a scholarly communication platform that enables collaborative research to take place. The physical areas of the Library also need to be adjusted so that staff and students alike can immerse into their research in the Library.
After vigorous assessment of the library space, the University has approved the Library to kick-start the planning of major renovation of the Library in 2015. We have sought and incorporated the views and comments from different stakeholders including students, faculty, senior management, library staff, and other administrative staff via surveys, meetings and presentations. Representatives from faculties and student unions have been consulted through Open Forums conducted in December 2015 and March 2016. Upon receiving all the feedback and suggestions from different stakeholders, the Library spearheaded the planning of a future library for all Lingnanians and has successfully obtained funding support from University Grants Committee (UGC) in 2017 and 2018.
The space design stage was commenced in September 2018. The plan is about ready now and has been submitted to different government departments for approval. The actual construction work was started in mid-December 2020.
We gathered the following requests from staff and students in the consultation sessions in 2015 and 2016:
- Different styles of study spaces, including individual study rooms, individual study carrels and collaborative work areas for group projects and discussion
- More space not only for study but also for different types of learning activities, such as seminars, exhibitions, maker space etc.
- 24-hour access to the Library as we are the only Library that cannot provide such round-the-clock service among other UGC-funded Universities in Hong Kong
- Research space for researchers and academics
- An internal lift to provide barrier-free access space inside the Library for easy navigation to different floors and to assist students with accessibility needs
- Replace the ageing IT infrastructure including the CAT5 cabling systems for computer connections and 100BaseT network switch
All these voices are heard loud and clear. They were all incorporated into the design of the Library at the section Major Changes.
Under the wave of transformation, the library functions have been extended significantly. The Library is not just a place for connecting users with books and other scholarly resources, it is also a place for study, research, creation, knowledge exchange, crystallization of innovative ideas and experiential learning. To tie in with the changing library functions, it is our vision to bring a vibrant and unorthodox learning environment to all our core users including students, staff and alumni of the University after the renovation. The following are the key elements in this vision:
- A new mezzanine floor between 1/F and 2/F will be built to provide the new space that is equipped with appropriate technology and tools to inspire students to experiment, to test and to try their innovative ideas to promote entrepreneurship spirit. It should also be a place where students can learn freely from the different training courses, seminars, workshops, DIY projects, competitions and cultural events.
- Thorough spatial reorganization of 1/F to repurpose the space into different learning and activities zones including an overnight access reading room and computer laboratory rather than just an ocean of bookshelves.
- Upgrade the ageing IT infrastructure to improve the reliability and performance of the computer facilities/IT equipment and to provide updated computing facilities for study and learning.
- Installation of an internal lift to reach all floors of the Library from 1/F to 4/F.
While the architectural plans are still under approval by the Government and slight changes are anticipated, the following floor plans with key visuals have captured the modern and grand design from our architectural consultant team in a vivid way.
- Internal Lift
- Mezzanine Floor
- Design Innovation Lab
- Glass House
- Graduate Lounge and other study areas
- Integrated Service Counter
- Overnight Reading Room
- Overnight Computer Laboratory
- Relaxing and Versatile Study Area
Library 1/F Floor Plan (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
Library M/F Floor Plan (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
A lift will be provided all through 1/F, M/F, 2/F, 3/F and 4/F to enable library users and staff to commute between different floors.
Internal Lift (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
A new mezzanine floor will be constructed between 1/F and 2/F of the Library. The space will be provided with a cosy space for our users to study and conduct learning activities. Each wing of the Library will have 3 islands for different purposes.
Mezzanine Floor (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
The southern part of the mezzanine floor will be used to create four different zones, namely:
- Makers Zone: to assist students in prototyping their ideas with tools and equipment such as 3D Printers, Laser Cutter, CNC Machines, 3D Scanners, Plastic Shredder etc. to be provided.
- Startup Zone: to serve as an entrepreneurial hub which will be furnished with marker, movable whiteboards, high tables and chair to allow innovators and entrepreneurs for ideation, discussion and brainstorm session.
- Knowledge Transfer Zone: to support the sharing of ideas with the community partners and members and to run different workshops and events for the stakeholders. This area will be equipped with movable whiteboards, and stools for users to maximize space usage during discussion and interaction.
Design Innovation Lab (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
It is an extension of the Design Innovation Lab for Lingnan entrepreneurs and social innovators to incubate and showcase their start-up ideas.
The Glass House will be used to organize activities on a larger scale, such as start-up exhibitions, symposiums, conferences, design thinking gallery etc.
Glass House (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
The northern part of the mezzanine floor is designed as a quiet study and research area for all; one of the islands is designed for our postgraduates for their study and research, which is still accessible by all users.
Graduate Lounge and other study areas (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
All service counters in the Library will be centralized into one to provide one-stop support for all users, from book transactions to reference enquiries.
Integrated Service Counter (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
This Reading Room will be surrounded by grand book walls and will be open for your overnight study.
Reading Room (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
This Computer Laboratory will be provided with flexible furniture that can be transformed into a teaching venue and it will be open overnight with the Reading Room.
Computer Laboratory (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
Different study areas will be added at 1/F and M/F to accommodate the private study needs of our students.
Relaxing and Versatile Study Area (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
A cozy and chic area will be provided for users to relax, study and enjoy light drinks and coffee.
Café (Image Credit: PangArchitect)
Vacate the bookshelves on 1/F before renovation
View of the 1/F Foyer before renovation
Lifting of steel members to the Library
Building of the steel deck as mezzanine floor
Building of E&M facilities
Erection of scaffolding at the 1/F Foyer
Applying durasteel to the mezzanine deck
Snapshot was taken on the deck, facing the foyer
Early August 2021
Apply the self-levelling for the floor
Installation of the new bookshelves
Building of deck and bridge in the new Reading Room
Building of the deck with void
Installation of glass wall into the new Glass Room
Overview of the foyer
Late August 2021
Lifting the new bookwall columns
Snapshot of the south wing
Early September 2021
Snapshot of the lobby from 2/F
Installation of floor tiles at the foyer area
Installation of new book wall columns
Installation of handrail for stairs to the new mezzanine floor
Early October 2021
Erecting the new Library outdoor signage
Installation of New Bookwall in the Lobby
Snapshot taken at the South and the North of 1/F
Why Is the Library being renovated?
1/F of the Library has never been renovated in the past 15 years, except for the Lobby and the Information Commons area. As reflected from the past Library Surveys, our users have a strong request to improve our physical settings and services of the Library. To meet the changing needs of our users, this renovation reflects their ideas and requirements by providing more spaces, a better environment and comfortable furniture in the Library.
How long will the renovation take?
The construction part of the renovation project is expected to last for eight months. The construction work will commence in mid-December 2020, right after the examination of Term 1 2020/21, and is expected to be completed by mid-August 2021. According to the tentative schedule, 1/F will be ready for use in the 2021/22 Term 1 while the newly built mezzanine floor will be ready for use in early 2022 subject to approvals from different government departments.
Who is responsible for the construction?
PangArchitect has been appointed to be the consultant of this renovation project. They are very experienced in the renovation of academic libraries. They propose to build an additional mezzanine floor in the Library which can provide innovative spaces for our users to inspire, to read, to experience, and to collaborate in the Library.
What has been done by the library to prepare for the closing of 1/F?
Before formulating the spatial reorganization and renovation plan, views/comments from different users have been collected via previous Library Surveys and Open Forums conducted in 2015 and 2016.
To prepare for the renovation project, we have converted a void area into a usable space at 3/F to cater for more bookshelves in summer 2019 and installed a new set of Compact Shelves on 3/F to house our collections in early 2020. With other space-saving measures implemented, 3/F of the Library can hold more than 60,000 volumes of books.
With support from the University, the Art Gallery at 3/F will be converted into temporary storage for the Library during the renovation period. Bookshelves have been built in this area, and we will start to move books of LC Class H to this area in summer 2020. It is a closed stack area for staff retrieval during the renovation. The total number of books is around 100,000 volumes.
More study spaces will also be added to 2/F and 3/F with new and flexible furniture to be provided to meet the different needs of our users.
We hope that the above can help to reduce the nuisance caused to our users.
Will the Library stay open?
Yes, the Library will stay open during the entire renovation period. However, some facilities and services may be affected during the period. Library Entrance/Exit will be moved to the Multimedia and Language Learning Centre (MLLC) at 2/F. Some collections in the Library will be relocated to different floors and some of them may be packed in remote storage. If users need to access these materials, they can make a request via 1-Search or HKALL. If there is any further suspension of facilities/services during the renovation period, we will inform the users by posting notices on our website.
Will it be noisy and dusty during the construction period?
Yes, it is inevitable to have noise and dust during the renovation period, especially during the construction of the internal lift. All lecture theatres and classrooms on G/F of the Main Building will also be affected by noise. However, we target to complete the “noisiest” part of the project at the beginning of the construction work, that is, from mid-December 2020 to the New Year break. It is hoped that this arrangement can minimize the impact on our users. Also, we will enforce mitigation measures to reduce the noise and dust during the construction period as far as possible.
Will I be able to check out books?
Yes, the only change is that our Circulation Counter at 1/F will be moved to 2/F temporarily during the renovation period. In addition, some of the collections may be relocated to different parts of the library and storage. If you need to access these materials, you may make a request via 1-Search for physical retrieval. Alternatively, you can still use the HKALL service to request books/materials if needed. If you need assistance to search for any library materials, please ask our staff for help. We are here to help you throughout this process.
Our electronic collection of books and articles in the Library will remain unaffected during the renovation period. They will be available at any time and will be accessed from anywhere.
Will the computers and other facilities be available?
Yes, dedicated database workstations and other Public PCs will be available at MLLC at 2/F and 3/F during the renovation period.
Will there be Library workshops/training available?
Yes, we will continue to offer information literacy and user education training to our users during the renovation period.
Are the study rooms open during construction?
No. During the renovation period, all Individual Study Rooms and Faculty and Postgraduate Study Rooms at 1/F will be temporarily closed. However, additional study space is being created at the Mini Theatre.
If you have any enquiry, please contact us at email@example.com
We are grateful to all students and staff who shared their views and comments with us for formulating the Library renovation plan. We will work diligently and thoughtfully to realize your ideas into our future plan and build a desired library together which can enhance the teaching, learning and research in the future. We will continue to work on this renovation project with our partners and get them updated as quickly as possible. Please stay tuned to our new progress.
2 Library Renovation Project Briefings have been organised to update our students and staff about the project scope, timeline, the impact on library services in the coming term, and most importantly to hear your voices on the space use. Thank you for your participation.
Date: 19 May 2020 (Tuesday)
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Date: 28 May 2020 (Thursday)
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Perspective images of New Library Lobby and Reading Room (Image Credit: PangArchitect)