Summary of Tour of New Library Building

Summary of Tour of New Library Building

On Tuesday, 27 April 2021, the board of the Readers Association was invited to tour the new library building by the administration (Oren Weinberg, director; Orly Simon, head of readers’ services; and Ephrat Pomerantz, who is responsible for implementing the building plans for the library). [Picture 1] The guided tour started from Kaplan Street [picture 2a] and the entrance to the library from that side [picture 2b], continued to the three levels of the reading room (picture 3a shows the top floor; on the entry level), the planned cafeterias (both dairy) [picture 4], the auditorium, the reading room for the Scholem collection and rare books, the halls for both permanent and temporary exhibitions, the synagogue and the prayer room, the offices (some of which are underground but still have access to sunlight [picture 5]). The tour also included a view of the areas to be landscaped, which are already being prepared for planting before the coming shemittah year

            The building is impressive; even more so the pace of construction. More importantly, despite our initial reservations, it appears that the building will be user-friendly for readers

            The planned building will have

  • more than 300 workstations for readers, each with its own lighting in addition to natural light from the skylight and windows
  • About 200,000 volumes on the open shelves
  • The three levels of the reading room will be divided as follows

top level—general humanities

middle level—humanities and Islam

lower level—Judaica and Israel collections

There will be a guard on every level of the reading rooms. In addition, every level will contain a reference and service desk, copying machines, study rooms (and a noisy area, with acoustic separation), bathrooms, stairs and elevators. There will be a cloakroom on the entrance level and a separate area with lockers for readers near the reading room

Proposed timetable

In December 2021 the process of transferring books and other materials from the present building and the distant storage is slated to begin. The books will be coded digitally, stored in containers with digital coding and stored in the computerized, automated stacks  (picture 6). Note that it will still be possible to order books to the current reading rooms while the process is in progress.

            The new library is planned to open to the public in summer 2022. The books in the reading rooms will be transferred last

Picture 1

תמונה מס. 1

Picture 2a

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Picture 2b

תמונה מס. 2ב

Picture 3

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Picture 5

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Picture 6

תמונה מס 6