Telelift in the university library of the TU Chemnitz - Interview with the director Mrs. Angela Malz
An old industrial building - the "Alte Aktienspinnerei" - was modernised for the university library and the university archive of the Technical University of Chemnitz. The industrial-historical cultural monument has become a modern learning and communication centre with more than 700 workstations, both for students and employees of the Technical University of Chemnitz. The new central library was opened in October 2020.
With the move to the "Alte Aktienspinnerei" in Chemnitz, Mrs. Angela Malz, Director of the Chemnitz University Library has managed a mammoth project. In an interview she talks about her experiences in the library and how a Telelift system supports her work.
Mrs. Malz, the move of various partial libraries into a single building was a big step. How did you experience the project?
It was a very stressful and exciting time. We had two major challenges to overcome: Library collections from three parts of the library had to be moved so that they were in sequence in the new building. Our university archive - which also moved into the new building - faced the same problem: here, archive holdings from different magazines had to be moved so that they could be placed in the new magazine according to the revised storage system.
The second major challenge, which no one could have foreseen, was to carry out the move under pandemic conditions.
Angela Malz, Library Director of the Chemnitz University Library
Many of our plans had to be changed at short notice because only a very limited number of library staff was allowed to be present in the library.
We mastered both challenges brilliantly. On the one hand, this was due to the very good and long-term preparation for the move and the fact that we functioned excellently as a library team. On the other hand, we had two moving companies who had already mastered other library and archive moves and who moved the holdings swiftly with a great deal of experience and understanding of the special features of Chemnitz.
Reading room at the Chemnitz University Library
Now you have mastered this task and the library was officially opened in October 2020. What makes your house so special?
Due to the Corona pandemic, the library is unfortunately only open on a limited basis. Of course, all digital media are available for university members and print media can also be pre-ordered and picked up.
But the library as a place of learning and communication cannot yet be fully used. Therefore, not many clients have visited our new library yet. The few who have already had the chance to see the building share my opinion: the building exudes a very special atmosphere that invites you to think and read and communicate.
The character of a 19th century factory building could be preserved and defining elements such as the mullioned windows, the vaulted ceilings and the cast-iron columns have been restored to their former beauty. Warm wood tones dominate the interior design and give the library a noble character. The reading room over three floors with a glass ceiling has become particularly beautiful.
When converting the “Alte Aktienspinnerei” into a modern library building, you decided to install an integrated transport solution from Telelift. Why?
We plan to open the library as a 24/7 library. This means that our staff will be on site 12 hours a day and a security guard will be on duty at night and on Sundays and public holidays. That's why, from the beginning of the planning process, we made sure to have plenty of self-service options.
Telelift system in the university library of the TU Chemnitz
The use of book return machines was virtually law. Linking these with a book transport system, which provides vertical access to the building and transports the media over a total of 6 levels, was a logical decision.
With the Telelift transport solution, we are therefore pursuing two goals: to enable users to return media around the clock and to relieve library staff of book transport work.
So far we are very satisfied with the performance of the system and I think that it will help us to realize our plans after the pandemic as we had planned.
Mrs. Malz, thank you very much for the interview and we wish you and your team all the best for the future!