In 2007 Ghent University Library embarked on a journey towards creating open knowledge – as we speak, more and more of the 3-million book collection stored in Ghent’s famous Book Tower is being digitized and made available online to the public. Welcome to the digital age! Taking part in the Google Books Library Project, Ghent University Library is one of the several research libraries participating in this noble quest. In doing so, one of the biggest libraries in Belgium is contributing to making some of the most celebrated works of Dutch and French literature publicly available to millions around the globe. Not too bad, right?
But not only is the library getting richer with digitized volumes of its valuable collection, the great Book Tower is being renovated as well. This entails moving all the 40 kilometers (yes, 40 kilometers!) of old school books of Ghent University Library’s collection to an underground depot – all in order to make the Book Tower shine again. The restoration of the 64-metre tower designed by the famous Belgian architect Henry van de Velde will be completed by 2018, ready for new challenges and generations of thirsty-for-knowledge students.
All this has been happening under the baton of a librarian on a mission, the great chief librarian Sylvia van Peteghem who, by the way, will be one of our speakers at TEDxGhent 2014. One more reason to join us there and find out the secrets hiding between the bookshelves! Well, and between the lines of electronic pages, of course.
Written by Meta Gorup