Roundtable on McGill’s Upcoming Library Projects

On Wednesday, September 28, the McGill Media Relations Office hosted a media roundtable with Professor Guylaine Beaudry, Trenholme Dean of Libraries, to discuss three upcoming McGill library projects. The roundtable covered the current renovation of the Schulich library and the new designs of Fiat Lux and the Collection Management Facility. 


Schulich Library

First covered was the Schulich library, which has been closed for renovation since May 2019. The library is primarily dedicated to sciences, including physics, health, and life sciences. The Schulich Library is a very old building on the McGill campus, so focusing on respecting and preserving its architecture was a central focus of this project. The renovation will increase the number of seats and the amount of natural light provided in the space. It will also include a Digital Innovation Scholarship Hub (DISH), to provide improved technology access for students. This space will feature resources including 3D printers and high-end computers, which Professor Beaudry shared were designed to develop a more digital culture. The library is currently scheduled to reopen in June 2023. 


Fiat Lux: McLennan/Redpath Transformation 

Fiat Lux is a large and exciting upcoming project for McGill. As viewed in the image above, this is a remarkable transformation for McLennan/Redpath, creating a more open-concept, natural, and  light-filled space. The number of seats in the library will increase from 3000 to 5000, and event spaces, as well as additional seminar rooms, will be made available. In order to make this possible, some of the collections will be moved to another facility: the Collection Management Facility. One floor of this space will be devoted to rare books and collections. Another floor will be devoted to technology, much like in the Schulich library, with increased resources and digital services. 

Professor Beaudry shared that this library is designed to benefit students; it includes a state-of-the-art facility which encompasses all of the things students need and want from libraries. To gather information on students’ needs, McLennan was informally observed and library-goers were asked where they thought improvements could be made.

Since this is a large-scale project, seeing as McLennan is the primary library on campus, managing demand for the library during the renovation process is crucial. Professor Beaudry stated that in order to manage this, students will have to relocate to temporary spaces. Employees of McLennan will be moved to other facilities to manage the high demand for library space. 

Fiat Lux is still in the early stages of design, but the architectural plan should be completed by December 2022. To read more about this project, visit this page


Collection Management Facility

Professor Beaudry shared that the Collection Management Facility is a celebration of McGill’s commitment to preserving resources from the past, for the future. She explained the value of print collections, thus McGill has chosen to create a space where they can be better regulated and protected.

Collections will be moved to create more space for the Fiat Lux project to be possible; however, McLennan will still hold the most used books on campus. Approximately 1.3 million volumes will stay on campus, but 2.5 million volumes will be moved to this facility. If students need a book from this facility, it can be ordered to a space on campus and will arrive by the next day. While the volumes are being moved, the library will provide students with more digital copies to ensure they can access all resources they need. The Collection Management Facility is set to be complete by the end of 2023.


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