Library Love NCSU Style


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On a recent trip to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit our youngest son we had the fun of going to go see the new Hunt Library at North Carolina State University–his alma mater.  It was beyond amazing. There’s that word again!  It was fabulous!!!  It was stupendous!  It was incredible!  It was out of this world!  Okay–enough of the superlatives.   P1120667

Aaron had made a donation which secured him a bench outside the library with his name on it.  Since there were no names on any of them yet we just designated one and said it was “his”.  His brother is asking if there are any hobos on it yet….brotherly love at its finest.

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Once inside we tried to take it all in but it was nearly impossible!!  Clean, bright, airy with lots of unique meeting and gathering areas greeted us.  Interestingly designed seating and conversation areas which seemed to go on and on.  It was a great sensory experience to behold .

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The most intriguing thing to me was the bookBot.  There are no stacks of books like we are used to as in more traditional libraries.  Instead a huge glass wall enables visitors to view the bookBot in action on the first floor (Robot Alley ) as four robots deliver books selected through the automated online catalog delivery system to a central location .

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This unique system holds up to 2 million volumes in 1/9th of the space of conventional shelving and that allows the library more space for meeting and learning areas.   The bookBot is something to behold and pictures don’t do it justice.  It is 50 feet wide by 160 feet long by 50 feet tall and is excavated 2o feet below the first floor!

To search for books a screen is accessed to view what selections are available.  I was THRILLED to find that there were several copies of my great uncle Rollo Walter Brown’s books available!

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There are too many wonders to extol about this library!!!  Unique spaces include the following:

  • Creativity Studio–a “white box” flexible space that supports a variety of activities with interactive tools
  • Teaching and Visualization Lab-a “black box” for projection on a 270 degree space
  • Game Lab–for fun and study
  • iPearl Immersion Theater–a curved wall that features panoramic imagery and showcases work of students and faculty
  • Video Seminar Room–telepresence video
  • Fishbowl—a seminar room designed with multi touch display and transparent walls
  • Faculty Research Commons
  • Graduate Student Commons
  • Makerspace–3D printers and a 3D Scanner—this got my husband REALLY excited!
  • Skyline Reading Room and Terrace–Highest point on campus ! This got ME really excited!

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What a fabulous place!  I know that if I lived in Raleigh I would be here ALL the time!!! Aaron…watch out….you may have a permanent house guest!!!

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If you would like to see more about the Hunt Library at NCSU just click on this link and you can read all about it!   And for goodness sake–if you are ever in Raleigh make this a stop on  your itinerary.  I  promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Comments

  1. 2 million volumes. Man I need that system

  2. What an amazing library!

  3. Joanna graham says:

    I’m sure my daughter, like you, would be in heaven at this library. I guess this will be another college for our youngest to check out. Thanks for sparking an interest in this direction

    • It is definitely a one of a kind state of the art thing ! I forgot you still have one that will be doing the college search in a few years, right??? Fun times!!

  4. Audrey Kletscher Helbling says:

    This library looks like something out of the future in design and function. Wow. Your photos are outstanding. Am I understanding correctly that you can’t physically see or touch the books until the one you chose from a screen is delivered to you? I am very much a browser–pick up a book that catches my eye, read the back cover, etc. I’m not sold on this automated concept.

    Also, how wonderful of Aaron to donate; just like his mom. You taught him well.

    • Yes–you have that right. No books sitting around in view to touch and feel until selected. I imagine this works well for researching more than for browsing ! But it is a neat concept and a great addition to the campus, that is for sure. There are so many neat conversation areas and spaces that are so unique and welcoming —I think I would be here all the time just enjoying the students and atmosphere!

  5. I love the ‘feel’ of a library. I’ll have to visit this one.

  6. Rachel E says:

    A fascinating and beautiful place for sure. Tho like Audrey, being able to browse and pick up books, the feel, the typeface, layout on a page etc. etc. etc. is how I’m hardwired (old wiring for sure). It’s like greeting an old friend, even if that friend resides on a shelf. I even miss the old library catalog system with the drawers and index cards. I loved browsing through those old cards so much.

    • Rachel, I know what you mean–the physical feel of books is an important thing for me but this library is so wonderfully over the top creative that it blew me away! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Wow it’s like the Disney Land of libraries! Only better. I would go and never leave. Buttons, bells, books. I could care less about browsing or owning a real book. I was a Kindle adopter from the first day (uhm, respect those that want to dust, store, and dog ear the real thing, tho. Kind of. OMG did I just admit to dog earring books! Hang me 😀 ) Excuse me now while I go and book my ticket to Raleigh. Please ask Aaron if I can sleep on his bench, when they kick me out at closing time. I will bring my own blanket and pillow.

    • Yay! Someone else who appreciates it!! It really is lovely and such a neat space for learning !!! Yes–you did admit to dog eating!!! 🙂 No need to borrow the bench—i am sure Aaron would welcome you to his own townhouse—you can use my room!!! Yep—he has a guest room for mom and I am happy to share!!! Let me know when you book your trip! 🙂 Thanks for the share!

  8. Becky McClamrock says:

    Oh my goodness! This library is AMAZING! I want to go there to hang out and check out the bookbot. That is so cool!

  9. It is a lovely library but I would probably get lost there. I have gotten lost many times in easier places than that. I would like to walk around and see everything but I also like to read what is written about the book.

  10. Wow, you found the Library of libraries! I would never go to class!

  11. I love libraries and this one does look amazing, and all the other words you used to describe it.

  12. And I no longer have any reason to visit North Carolina! I think, for me, this would be hard because I like to browse book covers when I choose books. But I have found it’s harder & harder to do this even in my local libraries because not on titles are on the shelves anymore. I can borrow books with my Sony E-Reader from the library here.

  13. Sorry hit the wrong button again, I meant to say some of those seating areas were the bomb! But I don’t really think I would want to sit on those red holey ones!

  14. We are getting a new library, looking forward to that. The plans look great and they are in the process of building it now.

    • That is exciting! Our local library was redone several years ago and I love the new space they created. It is very inviting and I bet yours will be wonderful when it is done!

  15. It does look like a spectacular place to hang out. And I can see how the book bot really makes finding a book easy and efficient.

    I sort of miss the wooden card catalogs in the middle of the library, browsing for a book on a shelf, and the smell of books.

  16. If I ever get to Raleigh, this is definitely on my to-see list!!

  17. That is one cool library! I would love to curl up in one of those yellow or purple chairs with a good book, light streaming in!!

  18. Mary Ellen says:

    That does look amazing. My dad always loved libraries. Whenever we took a trip, we always had to go visit the library in that town. He would have been amazed! I guess it rubbed off on my sister because she became a librarian.

    The most fascinating library I have visited was at Harvard University. We couldn’t actually touch the books but because my sister was a librarian we were able to peek into a few rooms that had metal gates over them. One room was an entire room of dictionaries, complete with a very large 3-volume set of English slang. That made me laugh. The gates were kind of prison-like, though, a product of the result of 9/11.

    I don’t mind reading electronic books but many times I go to the bookstore to see the book first. There is something about holding the book that makes it special. The best thing about electronic books; it’s hard to lose a bookmark!

    • Ah–Mary Ellen! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment!!! I had forgotten your sister was a librarian!!!! What a great thing to visit the Harvard University library!!!
      I do the same thing with my Kindle—look at the real book to see what it is all about!!! And of course I still borrow tons of “real” books from our library! They will always have a place in my life!!!

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