The New Library and Academic Centre will complement the existing Library in Hartland House, doubling the number of reader spaces for students, providing additional room for its collection, and flexible rooms for group working to meet the demands of future generations of students.
St Anne’s is proud to have one of the best-stocked and most well-used college libraries in Oxford, with some 110,000 volumes on-shelf and over 2,000 new books added each year.
However, the existing Library in Hartland House, built in 1937 for 250 students, is now too small for its remarkable collection and for the 700 students who use it. Every shelf is crammed, and 110,000 books are squeezed into unsuitable space on floors, tables, and on tops of shelves. Demand for new books is such that in the medium term growth in the book stock is inevitable. The 73 work places in the Hartland House Library are not enough to meet the demand that is now put on them; competition for working space has never been so high.
The New Library and Academic Centre will give the original 1937 Library room for controlled expansion and modernisation. It will double the number of reader spaces for students, and will create 1300 linear metres of shelf space for books and periodicals. The new building’s technological resources will enhance the Library’s role as a gateway to the digital universe.
The lower ground floor of the building will house our dense mobile shelving, allowing us to keep many more of our books available on open shelves. There will also be room for individual reader spaces looking out onto the sunken Quad.
The ground floor will be the principal entrance to the new Library with individual reader spaces, the Librarians’ administrative offices and an area for communal IT facilities.
The first floor will include several book-lined smaller study rooms, which can be used for group working or for quiet individual study. Students have told us that they like to work grouped around tables, and that they often need space to work collaboratively. The layout of the floor will respond to their needs, and will be flexible to meet the changing habits and requirements of future generations of St Anne's students. It will also include a large seminar room, where our Student Outreach Centre will be based. The seminar room will open on to the green roof of the Kitchen, which offers excellent views of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.
The top floor of the Library will house St Anne's research centres in the arts and sciences. The Centre for Personalised Medicine and Programme in Comparative Criticism and Translation are already underway.
Our Library has been at the heart of St Anne’s for generations. Extending the Library and ensuring that new generations of students and researchers have adequate space in which to work is vital to the future of the College community.