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History

History

1997

The iron and steel production in Belval is shut down

2002

The Fonds Belval is created to construct the "Cité des Sciences"
(600 million Euros to revitalise the industrial area of 500 hectare)

2003

University of Luxembourg is founded –
the University library consists of four different libraries on three campuses
(Walferdange, Limpertsberg, Kirchberg)

2005

Decision is made to make Belval the main University campus

2006

Planning starts for the “Maison du Livre”
(later: Luxembourg Learning Centre)

2015

First academic year of the University of Luxembourg in Belval –
BiblioLab opens while the library in Walferdange is closed with the closure of the campus

2018

Luxembourg Learning Centre opens

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The University of Luxembourg was formed in 2003 when the three, formerly autonomous, institutes of higher education in Walferdange, Limpertsberg and Kirchberg were unified. The, by then, autonomous libraries of these institutes, spread around Luxembourg-City, formed the “Bibliothèque de l'Université du Luxembourg” (BUL). Differences in procedures and methods had to be aligned and, at the same time, the challenges of serving a rapidly growing University and keeping up with the enormous changes in the library world had to be managed. On top of that, the Luxembourgish government decided in 2005 to move and unite the three campuses of the University in Belval, Esch-sur-Alzette, in the south of Luxembourg, close to the boarder with France. As a result, all three libraries had to prepare to merge and move south.

Belval, an industrial site left behind by the steel industry, was converted into the “Cité des Sciences” under the newly founded government-funded Fonds Belval. Besides the University, the “Cité des Sciences” was planned to house offices, flats, shopping malls and cultural buildings like cinemas and the Rockhal, now Luxembourg’s biggest concert hall.

Within these surroundings, the University of Luxembourg opened its doors in 2015 and, gradually, the departments and institutes were moving from their former sites to the new unified campus. So does the University Library with the opening of the new Luxembourg Learning Centre (LLC) in September 2018.

The first move to Belval already happened in 2015 when the library as well as the complete Walferdange Campus was closed and BiblioLab, the experimental library in the basement of the “Maison des Sciences Humaines” on the Belval Campus, was inaugurated. Equipped with colourful furniture and offering new digital services, BiblioLab serves students and staff on the new site, but also helps to refine the planning of the new Learning Centre by testing new services and different kinds of infrastructures within its premises.

Going back to 2006 when the planning for the LLC started with a meeting of the representatives of the Fonds Belval, the University of Luxembourg, and the architects Valentiny HVP that had won the call for tender, it was decided that the future premises of the then called “Maison du livre” should be the old “Möllerei”, the building where the coke was mixed with additives to light the blast furnaces of the steel production. Constructed in 1912 and modernised in 1965 the Möllerei had a total length of 170m. Only 110m were revamped to house the LLC while the remaining part was left as it was when the blast furnaces and the Möllerei were closed in 1997.

In the twelve years following the LLC project’s kick-off in 2006 the University grew at an enormous rate and the library needed to keep up with this quick growth. Besides limitations in staffing that accompanied the project especially in the years before the opening, the Luxembourg Learning Centre could open its doors on 12.09.2018 due to the strong commitment of all persons and parties involved. As the spirit of the hundreds of discussions between the stakeholders has been throughout the twelve years of planning and constructing, so is and should be the spirit of the Luxembourg Learning Centre in future: open – innovative – inspiring.

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