6th October, 2011
In the second decade of the 21st Century, universities around the world continue to innovate, re-build, and re-equip their libraries to meet with the challenges of the period. This is perhaps due to the need for the provision of necessary intellectual facilities and materials that could give fillip to scientific inventions, technological innovations, arts discoveries, humanities creativity, and social science ingenuities.
Truly, libraries form the engine room of universities. The morgue represents the nucleus of a citadel of learning. The reading rooms represent oscillating pivot for intellectual pursuits. And the custodian of books stands as the epitome of knowledge in institutions of higher learning.
Though when you visit the various libraries in the United Kingdom, they represent edifices of excellence with up-to-date books, journals, mimeographs, and other materials like memoirs, encyclopaedia, historical artefacts, and electronic learning and intellectual works. They are well arranged and organised from area libraries to city morgues and to university reading complexes.
And as a student of any university in the country, you can use any of the libraries and borrow books with your â€˜Sconulâ€™ access card. And any of the libraries feel obliged to serve you at all times. They get any book required by you, and make special orders to get any material that they may not have within twenty-four hours. Indeed, it is First World.
But when you visit any of the university libraries in England, the Wales, Ireland or Scotland, you have the feeling of seeing the best. From the libraries of Edinburgh, to Glasgow, to St. Andrews, to Dundee, London, or even Abertay, in Scotland, you have the feeling of benefitting the best of services.
However, the University of Aberdeen blazes the trail among them with the opening of its new 7-floor ultra-modern electronic library to the public on Monday September 12, 2011. As the â€˜Global University of the northâ€™, Aberdeen blazes the trail as citadel of learning in the United Kingdom with the opening of its new magnificent glass library to the public at the threshold of a new academic session.
As an ancient university founded 516 years ago, Aberdeen blazes the trail among the universities in the world with unique archival materials for research purposes, and art works of seven museums that are attached to the new robust library.
As an international centre of learning, with its 16,000 students from 120 countries, Aberdeen has a unique library that is designed to provide a 21st century learning and research environment for students, staff, visitors, and the public.
Indeed, the 65 million British Pounds Sterling (N17.03 Billion) library has adaptable spaces and provides flexibility for individual studies, group working, seminars and meetings. The library provides an advanced learning environment in which the largest learning technology adds value to a magnificent collection of books that meets with the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.
Entering the new library of the University of Aberdeen, I heaved a sigh of relief that I have taken the right decision to attend one of the best universities in the world for my Doctoral research in Media and Multiculturalism. The outer architectural designs and the interior decorations give one the intellectual ambience that is required to invent, innovate, and intuitively contribute to knowledge.
The several brand new computers hooked onto the World Wide Web (www) at every corner and every floor of the new library make you have free access to over 1 million books in the library, apart from the several thousands of journals from various fields, and several thousands of theses, articles, dissertations, and academic works. Even you can easily access the famous â€˜Professorâ€™ Google on the internet 24 hours. This is a library that does not sleep.
You may wonder why new inventions are coming from this part of the world. You may wonder why new discoveries are being made scientifically from around here. You may continue to wonder why technological innovations are being made from around here. You may continue to wonder why creative work of arts, and in humanities and social sciences are coming from around this belt of the globe.
No doubt, they are results of good strategic plans for progress and development. The new library at Aberdeen form part of the 5-year Strategic Plan that starts this year. And as the best in Europe and perhaps the world in the areas of academic, personal, medical, and finance, the new Aberdeen library provides a unique platform for intellectualism across the globe.
As the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, Professor Ian Diamond noted at the opening, â€˜the opening of the new library marks a new era at the university, providing an unrivalled learning environment for our students and staff, and one we are delighted to share with the communities of our region.â€™ He proudly declaredthat â€˜this is an outstanding facility of which we can all be very proud. It will serve the needs and ambitions of our university, city, and region for many decades to come.â€™
Truly, Aberdeen blazes the trail among the citadels of learning with the unique library edifice that stands tall among the various structures of the faculties and buildings on campus.
â€¢Osho is a Doctoral Researcher, Media and Multiculturalism, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.