UFRGS’s Central Library is open to the community of Rio Grande do Sul free of charge - Picture: Cadinho Andrade
The community of Rio Grande do Sul can once again browse a collection of more than 50,000 items. After 15-month remodeling, UFRGS Central Library has reopened with newly-refurbished, climate-controlled spaces. The remodeling occupies 800 m² of built area.
Fiction novels, dictionaries, maps, guides and encyclopedias form the general collection of the Central Library, in addition to the main collection, composed of the former private collection of Eduardo Eichenberg. This collection, of over 30,000 volumes, was acquired in 1969 and includes 10,000 works that are classified as rare – some of them produced in the sixteenth century – according to the criteria of the National Library Foundation. The remodeling created a unique reading and consulting space, now housed in sliding files to optimize the storage area, and to improve the safety and conservation of the volumes.
“We have been struggling for over two decades to ensure the conditions necessary to preserve these extremely important collections, and to prepare a pleasant environment to attend the public as well,” said the Central Library director, Vivian Carrion Castanho, during the reopening ceremony of the Central Library. She thanked all responsible sectors of the Central Administration involved in the library plan for remodeling and the team of staff members and scholars who have spent the last few months working tirelessly in the reorganization of the collection, a prime example of what team work can accomplish.
The general collection of the Central Library is now arranged in more user friendly display racks, improving the access to books and facilitating the circulation of wheelchair users. Additionally, new lighting and air conditioning provide a comfortable environment for reading to users and staff in the main room.
To President Carlos Alexandre Netto, libraries are the very soul of the University and, even though much of the academic-scientific texts today are in digital form, the community cannot afford to lose physical spaces and the materiality of books. “UFRGS needed a new library space on par with its collection, a goal that justified the investment. Libraries are booming at UFRGS. Last week, we received the architectural plan for the new library building on Campus do Vale,“ he affirmed.
UFRGS’s Central Library is open to the community of Rio Grande do Sul free of charge. The library user can browse the shelves and use the available resources. It is located on the ground floor of the Reitoria building (110 Paulo da Gama Avenue - Central Campus) and it is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.