Sunday, 20 February 2011

Narnia in the Library, and a tidy data centre

It's always interesting to visit another University, and some of us we were fortunate to have some time after the RUGIT meeting and before our flights home,  to visit Queen's University Belfast. The main point of interest was The McClay Library, only recently opened, and replacing existing libraries on site, as well as housing all library and IT staff, and the main data centre. It is a lovely building, and we had a very good guided tour. Of course, it's virtually impossible  to walk round and not compare it with our Information Commons, but it is a different sort of building. It is the library, and therefore has different functions. there's lots more books, obviously, and it is very quiet. There are silent zones, and whisper zones. no places where students can work more noisily, apart from in the group study rooms.  It has a very fine atrium complete with real trees, and  lovely wood finishes. The furniture was also very high quality, and some very nice wood chairs and desks.

There's also a very impressive door leading into the C S Lewis Reading room:
I was expecting to go through it and enter Narnia, but instead there was a rather nice reading room,with a map of Narnia on the table in the middle. No Aslan in sight.

Finally, we had a look at the data centre, which is right in the middle of the building. It's very bright and shiny, and tidy! I'd never seen one like that before. Didn't know it was possible. And lots of coloured cables. I know the colours make no difference to how it works, but they do look nicer!

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