Notes about the week at UCL

Second benchmarking week was spent on the two campuses of the Université catholique de Louvain in Brussels and in Louvain-la-Neuve. Both were busy, lively places with lots of students.

In Brussels we had time for interesting discussions and interviews with the library staff and for student interviews that we already reported.

In Louvain-la-Neuve there was chance to talk to the team behind the library’s fantastic marketing phenomenon Biblio-Jack. What a modern and fun way to teach students the basics about how to use the university library! Take a look at the videos in YouTube and the page in Facebook for more information.

We also learned about DIAL, the university’s institutional repository, and visited the recently opened new library and learning center for science and technology.

Discussing collections in the Library of the Health Sciences

Discussing collections in the Library of the Health Sciences

Students reading

Students reading

Discussing marketing and Biblio-Jack

Discussing marketing and Biblio-Jack

In the colouful library of science and technology

In the colorful Library of Science and Technology



Interviewing library users (part 2)

Today we talked to the users of the Library of health sciences at Université catholique de Louvain. We asked them the same questions that were asked in NTNU/BMH library.

Our questions were:

  1. What do you use this library for?
  2. Why do you (study/read/work/group work) right here?
  3. Where would you study if the library did not exist?

We have chosen six different spots and talked to individual users only as there is no space for group work in the library. In this library, different spots are:

  • study booths for one or maximum two people
  • study places in loggias
  • study places in rows of single tables
  • computer places

Like in Trondheim, in this library as well, all the people we approached were happy to participate in our small interview.



People were reading lecture notes and other study material, using library and own books, using own laptops and library computers. They told us that they also use the books (rarely) and do information research at the library.

They appreciated to be part of a studying community, a good atmosphere to study, the silence and that there is always a librarian around to take care of this studious atmosphere. The availability of wi-fi, of computers and the possibility to search for information, were mentioned as well. The natural daylight, the air ventilation and the warmth of the heaters were also appreciated.

If the library did not exist, in Trondheim most of them would have chosen to stay at home, but not here: they would have preferred to sit in a studying room on the campus, but they considered it too noisy. There are too many other things to do at home or in dorm.

We look forward to knowing the answers to these questions in UEF, Kuopio.