Photo: Alexander MaxiaThe iconic view from Carolina Rediviva, overlooking half of Uppsala.

Major Plans for the University’s Main Library

Perhaps you have noticed there has been a lot more hustle and bustle at Carolina Rediviva lately. A major two year refurbishment of the iconic library is planned, but how will that affect the students and other visitors? Alexander Maxia spoke to the head of unit at the Carolina library.

Photo: PrivateCecilia Petersson is the head of unit at the Carolina Library.

Carolina Library Opening Hours
During the semester:
Weekdays 8.30 -19.00
Weekends 10.00 -16.00

During the Summer (5 June - 31 August):
Weekdays 13.00 -16.00
Weekends Closed
Opening hours and addresses for the other university libraries.

The main entrance of Carolina Rediviva will be closed from late May 2017 until 2019 instead, access to the building will be via a secondary entrance to the right of the current main entrance.

Carolina Rediviva, Uppsala University’s main library is about to undergo major refurbishment that is set to start very soon and is expected to finish in time for Autumn semester 2019.
– The 140 million SEK investments is expected to massively improve the student experience in Uppsala, says the head of unit at the Carolina library, Cecilia Petersson.
This is not the first major renovation work the building has undergone since its inauguration in 1841. Extension and renovation works were carried out in the 1920’s and again in 1970’s and 1990’s.
The cafe and shop will also be closed for this period, but Cecilia Petersson hopes that at least during the warmer season a van could be parked in the back garden of the library and still provide the essential coffee to keep the visitors focused, but that is just a wish for now there is no certainty that a van will indeed be there says Cecilia Petersson.  When the building refurbishment is over there will be a new, much bigger restaurant and cafe in the part of the building which at present is the catalogue room. The current upper area would instead be reserved for kitchenettes with microwave facilities so that if someone wants to bring their own food from home, they will have plenty of amenities to do so.
– It will be well worth the wait, as when the work is finished there will be a considerable increase in study space of different kinds: individual, group study rooms with whiteboards, silent rooms and so on. The idea is that a student will be able to spend the whole day in the library moving around the different sections and doing different things. From silent room, to the restaurant to group study rooms and so on.
Why was there the need to reduce the opening hours further and will things change once the work is finished?
– The reduction in opening hours that started at the beginning of February was necessary, both to allow people to carry out noisy building work when nobody was studying and also to save money, as we observed that in the last two opening hours the affluence was very low. At the end of the refurbishment, however, the library times will go back to normal and might even be extended. In the meantime we are working in partnership with the other ten university campus libraries in order for them to have more accommodating opening hours both during the week and also the weekend, says Cecilia Petersson.

In 2021 Uppsala will be marking 400 years of having a university library and big celebrations are expected to take place at which members of the government and royal family will most likely attend.
– It is good that by then we will have finished our work and look pristine, Cecilia Petersson points out.
The good news is that throughout the refurbishment period the facade of the library will look the same, which Cecilia Petersson says is important as it is an iconic landmark in the city.
At this point the question about Valborg comes naturally and Cecilia Petersson guarantees that the student cap ceremony will occur in the same place as tradition dictates, even throughout the renovation works.
Will we see you amongst the university representatives on the big balcony at 15:00 on Valborg?
– Most probably you won't as too many people flood the balcony so I prefer waving my student cap from a window nearby.