Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

1961 East Mall
Phase I (north wing) 2005; Phase II (centre block and south wing) 2008.
Downs Archambault & Partners, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates
$68 million
Sources of funds:
Irving K. Barber, BC Government, UBC.
Architectural features:
Occupies former site of Main Library.
The north wing houses the state-of-the-art Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) that expands the Library's capacity to house print materials. The ASRS consists of four aisles, each measuring 100 feet long, 65 feet high and 45 feet wide. Floor-to-ceiling shelves store 19,000 stainless steel bins, which contain about 800,000 bar-coded volumes and other materials. In each aisle, automated mini-load cranes slide back and forth on tracks. The ASRS is linked to the Library's online catalogue. After Library staff or users request an item, the robotic cranes identify and retrieve the correct steel bin, matching the location of the bin to the requested bar code. The automated cranes deliver bins to a sorting station where staff retrieve and relay requested items to the circulation desk. The entire process takes about two minutes. The north wing also features a fireproof vault for rare and special collections and the Ridington Room, a new double-floor reading area with original, commissioned glass artwork.
Centre block consists of the original 1925 Library building with substantial earthquake and fire safety upgrades, and features the Chapman Learning Commons (former main concourse). The south wing includes classroom and office space, with state-of-the-art multimedia and communications services.
Construction Type:
Concrete, steel, and glass.
Name history:
Named for major private donor Irving K. Barber.
Use history:
UBC Library; School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies; Arts One; Science One; Teaching and Academic Growth (TAAG).
UBC Public Affairs, UBC Reports

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