What’s in the box? How the Science Library is challenging tradition at UWA

Carmel O'Sullivan, Jill Benn

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


Visitors to the University of Western Australia (UWA) Science Library have been variously greeted by two yellow sports cars in the foyer, an ancient stromatolite billions of years old, giant seed pods, and coral and beetle specimens. Since opening in July 2009, the UWA Science Library has changed the way that both science and the library are viewed at UWA. Students have made the space their own; writing on the glass desktops, talking loudly on their mobile phones in the "Cell Zone", rearranging furniture, and finding places for concentrated study, for conversation over coffee, or for group work in discussion rooms that appear to be suspended among the trees. Students have even created two Science Library Facebook groups and wrote a music video as an ode to the new library. These social media phenomena were student-created, evolving as a natural response to a space that spoke to the UWA community in a way that libraries had previously failed to. This paper will discuss the Science Library's success which can be attributed to three factors:

- creating spaces for everyone (from parents to postgraduates and students with special needs)
- providing technology that enhances learning and inspires the creation of new knowledge, and
- bringing science and scientists out of the lab and into the more public space of the library.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
EventInformation Online 2011, ALIA 15th Exhibition and Conference - Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 1 Feb 20113 Feb 2011


ConferenceInformation Online 2011, ALIA 15th Exhibition and Conference


Dive into the research topics of 'What’s in the box? How the Science Library is challenging tradition at UWA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this