As a librarian, an adage I’ve always enjoyed is, ‘a university is just a library with buildings surrounding it’. Traditionally, this has been quite true. Grand book-filled buildings where people could quietly read has been the tradition of university libraries for centuries. With UTS Central opening, we wanted to reinvent the library experience by asking – what does it mean to be truly ‘central’ to the UTS experience? Our clients tell us that they love the books and study spaces (so rest assured these will be carried through) however, in our journey toward becoming a ‘future library’, a term used since planning for UTS Central began way back in 2011, we wanted to redefine who we are and what we do. Why? Because it’s what happens around the books that’s far more interesting. By the end of 2019, library services will be more embedded into learning and core to research at UTS than ever before – we’ll be ‘central’ both in physicality and in ethos.

The Campus Experience

When UTS Central is fully operational, it will be home to a ‘library deconstructed’.

Rather than all services behind a single gated space, library services will be integrated throughout seven levels of the new building.

Rather than all services behind a single gated space, library services will be integrated throughout seven levels of the new building. This redistribution of our spaces enables us to take a broader view of what we provide, how we provide it and how we ‘plug-in’ our services throughout the building to deliver a distinctive student experience.

The UTS Reading Room, on level 5, will offer a traditional study environment designed to inspire ideas. It will provide that final connection to the Library Retrieval System, our underground home for book storage and book delivery. Although we’ve made the decision to store a great deal of books underground (75% to be exact), unlike most other libraries, we didn’t want to do away with the books entirely. Feedback tells us that students love studying in spaces surrounded by books, so we are making the UTS Reading Room and Library the central place for traditional quiet study, surrounded with the most relevant materials to support study.

Inside the UTS Reading Room (Credit: Andy Roberts)

Our many informal learning spaces will be peppered throughout the building, levels 4 to 7 to be exact, giving students more places to catch-up and collaborate outside of class. The newest spaces will offer sleeping zones, direct access to food (and coffee!) with more power outlets than ever before. Yes, power outlets not surprisingly are ever popular.

The Library will also launch the Student Learning Hub. From August key university student support services (think Library, counseling, financial assistance, housing, careers, and HELPS) will be available at the hub located on level 4 of UTS Central. By launching this ‘one-stop’ service point, we’re creating an improved and seamless experience for students seeking assistance with their learning and student life at UTS.

The Student Learning Hub in UTS Central (Credit: Andy Roberts)

The Online Experience

More than a physical move, we’ve also overhauled our online experience.

Since the early part of this decade, libraries across the world have been amassing large online collections, and UTS is no different. Last year we spent approximately eight million dollars alone on online materials. So, it’s only fitting that our digital experience evolves to make the best use of our many types of digital materials.

Based on insights from over 40 in-depth student interviews, 1200 survey results and 2Gb of usage logs, we’re completely changing how people experience the library in the digital space.

Based on insights from over 40 in-depth student interviews, 1200 survey results and 2Gb of usage logs, we’re completely changing how people experience the library in the digital space.

A new website, new account management system, new search functionality, and electronic reading list system will deliver content at the point of our client’s needs. We’ll integrate into the learning management system, Canvas, and be accessible through research platforms. We’ll provide options for personalisation like never before, allowing our clients to manage their Library experience without needing to visit our physical or virtual sites.

We’re developing new online content, supported by a new service model, offering 24/7 support for our clients – as well as access to online chat, and new tools (such as the assignment calculator and interactive guides) that provide contextual and adaptive support for all our clients. In all, the library, both physically and digitally, will be more accessible than ever

When thinking about the concept of a library ‘deconstructed’, it makes me think less about where we live and more about where we are.

In 2020, our new library will rightfully be at the heart of the UTS Central experience. Importantly, our services will permeate throughout campus and beyond, no matter where you are. For all intents and purposes, we (the Library) will be everywhere.

In 2020, our new library may be at the heart of the UTS Central experience, but our services will be where you are.

To mark the official opening of the UTS Library’s Reading Room on Friday, a UTS robot hands Attila Brungs (UTS Vice-Chancellor) a rare book, the first to be shelved in the new building.

Key dates and get in touch

11 November: Haymarket Library closes for relocation.
11 – 24 November: Library closed. Resources and services available via:
> Student Learning Hub (located on level 4 of UTS Central) open 9am-5pm weekdays.
> Chat at, 9am-5pm weekdays.
> Call 9514 3666, 9am-5pm weekdays.
> Email via ‘Ask a Question’ page.
25 November: The new physical UTS Library opens in UTS Central.

5 ways staff can experience the library

  1. All library services are available to staff and researchers (not just students) – from robotics kits, spheros to multimedia devices like VR goggles.
  2. Physical items represent only 5% of what’s on offer. Access millions of online items, from eBooks, journals, and media databases (access full movies through the Kanopy service) to interactive immersive 3D content.
  3. The Library is home to the UTS ePress, an open-access publisher working with academics nationally to produce high-quality open access content to the world.
  4. The library hosts a world-recognised Creative-in-Residence Program, where creatives reconceptualise Library-related offerings with the aim of accessing new audiences. Experience an installation from 2018’s Creative-in-Residence, Natalya Hughes, in the Haymarket Library sleep space.
  5. Not sure where to start? Check out our online orientation.

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