A new home for the EMBL Szilárd Library – Szilárd Library

Szilárd Library

Access to scientific literature and resources

A new home for the EMBL Szilárd Library

Many changes and some constants for the library in 2022

For the Szilárd library, this year marked its first as part of OSIM. Library staff are now more oriented to users, collections, and services, but still support open science administration. After many decades, the Library Committee reformed into a Library User group, in which students (PhDs, postdocs, EICAT) and a representative from EMBL Barcelona joined, after Toby Gibson retired as Chair after a good quarter of a century in this position.

The demand and the scope of the collection has been changing. Following the new scope of EMBL research and policies, the library has introduced several new special sub-collections that address open science, the environment, and equality, diversity, and inclusion issues. Also, we are about to expand on the newly formed Director General- and alumni-related collections with exciting titles.

The Szilárd Library moves to the ATC

This year, we mostly focused on organising the library’s move. This complex project also allowed us to implement new library system features, renew the technology facilities, and re-design the reading room according to users’ needs. The new reading room, located in the former Executive Suite B-helix rooftop, is bright with natural light, amazing views, and access to the balcony. The library has twelve working places, plus a small lounge area with popular magazines and daily newspapers. The new reception desk is set up for librarians to welcome and support users.

Finally, from 8-16 December, librarians organised a series of events to celebrate the official reopening of the Szilárd Library and its inauguration. The central celebration took place on 8. December, including Director General Edith Heard, Chief Operating Officer Matti Tirakari, the Director of EMBL Heidelberg Peer Bork, and EMBL’s first librarian, Mary Holmes. Holmes cut the ribbon and officially opened the new reading room (see the picture gallery from the opening ceremony below).

The librarians welcomed guests over the next few days with homemade treats and they exhibited EMBL’s newest book arrivals in a special  Book Christmas Advent Calendar Our special book flea market for the occasion involving many deaccessioned or donated books raised 1119,38 Euros that will be donated to the Kinderklinik library at the University Hospital Heidelberg. The ceremonies concluded with a small exhibition on “The Past and Future Treasures of the Szilárd Library”, which included fantastic library artefacts from the time since the opening in 1979.

“Things have changed so much that it’s just unbelievable”

“Things have changed so much that it’s just unbelievable”, Mary Holmes said already in 2019 on the occasion of the library´s 40th birthday. But, in spite of the unbelievable changes in the library, as described by Mary Holmes, there are a few things that have not changed (according to many library user surveys). These are the need for more working spaces in the reading room and the very kind and helpful librarians!