Be ready for the Library of the Future!

Everybody is smiling. According to Benjamin Hanoune, a chemistry researcher at University Lille I, “that rocks!” Léo, a student at the School of Management, has joined some friends in order to prepare a presentation: ‘this is super-modern: we have plugs everywhere, Wi-Fi, rooms to work in groups.” But the person who has the biggest smile is thecurator Julien Roche, who has just delivered a 10-year long project: Lilliad, the new learning and innovation centre at University Lille I - 12 000 square meters, 100 000 documents, a huge space dedicated to research called “Xperium” research. This conference center has two auditoria, an adjustable room with innovative teaching methods, and 2000 plugs. This is a €35-million construction site, mainly financed by the Region where all missions given to a university are gathered: studies, teaching, research and circulating knowledge.

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This modern university library is located at the heart of the Campus Villeneuve-d’Ascq. Everyday, more than 3,000 students and researchers go and use the three-floor library mix of different atmospheres. Refinedfurniture, white walls, clusters of red sofas, comfortable leather seats, footstools, egg-shaped Sonic chairs where you can listen to some music, relaxing spaces and fifty working rooms, with computers, phones and tablets. “One of our priorities was to boost interaction between the people. Our equipment needs to allow for working in groups”. Sound-proofing was deeply thought in order to avoid noise from otherconversations. One I.T student is even surprised that there is a lunch room!

Frédéric Chirat, Lecturer in biochemistry and manager of the learning centrefor academics at the University Lille I says “for those who want to innovate, we have now a pearl!” Along with one of his colleagues of his, they are getting ready to test a course about the complex methods of “learning per problem”. This is a new approach which consists of giving a formula to students and to ask them to get to the root of the problem to identify and explain the rules. “Liliad is the perfect place that makes working in groups easy, finding information online, reading documents…” They will be able to use Room Y. Adjustable tables, seats and walls, there is also a projector. Every component in this room can be restructured easily to suit the needs of the group or individual.

Although knowledge is now accessible anywhere to anyone, the wish to put money into this project is unanimous. “All the surveys show that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will replace the more traditional courses. However, the surveys also show that students need a place to study, a real place with social life, to work and to meet the others. Lilliad is the perfect example: students could Skype at home, nevertheless our working rooms are always full all day long.”

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Published on 06/12/2016

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