Although coronavirus has put many things on hold, not all projects have been brought to a standstill. CBS Library has made the most of its time by redecorating, putting up new bookshelves and installing lights that know when to turn on, off and dim at the main library at Solbjerg Plads.
The library makeover, which has spanned the past couple of years, is now culminating in coaching-friendly new desks for students, and comfortable reading stations with color-coordinated artwork, as well as a compact self-service canteen which will open during the autumn.
Liv Bjerge Laursen, a librarian at CBS Library, has been in charge of the redecoration of the ground floor, which is part of a much bigger makeover that started with creating the CBS Library Forum; an area where researchers and students can host talks and debates for about 30 people – without disturbing their surroundings.
“The redecoration is a result of many things, but first and foremost that we are buying fewer and fewer books. This makes room for other features. Yes, we could install more study stations, but the need for those is a bottomless pit, and we wanted to do something else,” she says and continues:
“We want a library that supports coaching and dialogue, and I believe the new initiatives do that.”
Liv Bjerge Laursen explains that when CBS first moved into Solbjerg Plads in 1999, the focus was on guiding the students on matters related to information retrieval for projects, for example. Although this remained an important factor, self-service became popular during the 2000s, and several self-service machines were installed, while the staff took a back seat. Now, the staff is back in the frontline and the wall of self-service computers has been removed.
“Although a lot can be done online, getting help and guidance face to face from a professional librarian is much better, and with the new setup, as staff we can interact much easier with students. There’s room on the desks for the students’ computers, and we are first to meet them as they enter the library,” she says.
Fewer and fewer books are filling the library shelves, and the gaps left have now been turned into comfortable sitting places where students can read or chat quietly. And when you approach the reading booths, lights turn on and dim automatically during the day.
“They actually hush down voices surprisingly well,” explains Liv Bjerge Laursen, who knows that they will probably not be used for chatting.
“The students have immense self-discipline when it comes to talking. I would actually love it if they talked a little more. But the most important aspect is that they like it here and use them,” she says.
Just last summer, the library expanded its opening hours to 24/7. However, often a coffee or snack is called for when working well into the small hours. Now, the library has its very own compact self-service canteen where students can use their access cards to buy light refreshments when the main canteen is closed.
A recreational space
The library has several comfortable lounge chairs and sofas spread out on the different floors – all in an orange and brown color scheme to match the library artwork. These lounge areas help to ensure the library is more than just somewhere to concentrate and study.
Liv Bjerge Laursen would also like the library to be a place for recharging your batteries.
“I hope the students and other library users feel that the library is also a nice place to sit and relax,” she says and continues:
“Right now, we are in dialogue with Frederiksberg Library about borrowing some books on fishing, crocheting, art and other recreations. Our aims are to include subjects that focus on more than concentration and studying, and provide a place to relax your brain,” she says.
Liv Bjerge Laursen expects the makeover to be completed during the autumn, but most of the facilities are already up and running.