In autumn 2021, the University Library Building, Lähde, will open with new appearance after its comprehensive renovation, and the opening festivities for public will take place in January 2022. At the same time, the building will also provide new facilities for public events on research, science and art education.

Scientific achievements fascinate people, and citizens have a high regard for researchers’ expertise – and in return, amateurs have valuable observations to share and thus contribute to scientific research. The great value of this combination is well known to the key persons behind the design of the new science forum in the Library Building, Director of Open Science Centre Pirjo Vuorinen, Rector of Summer University Leena Meriläinen and Head of Relations Anu Mustonen.

“The basic idea is to provide science with a low threshold for everybody throughout the lifespan, to make the University better known to people, and encourage them to continuous learning”, says Anu Mustonen.

At present already, the science events of the University of Jyväskylä – such as Researchers’ Night, trips to nature, public events, lectures and panels – gather keen audiences throughout the year. Live events collect annually tens of thousands of visitors.

The new science centre will have action all the time – and with a low threshold

In the new science centre in the Library Building, science and art events will have a regular rhythm. Open lectures, public discussion events, exhibitions, and information sessions will be arranged in the event facilities on a weekly basis throughout the year.

Information on the events is always available in the same place, the JYU Events Calendar on university’s website

In public events, all age groups are taken into account. The science and art events are open for all and the threshold for joining in is kept low.

The University Library Building, Lähde, provides an open entrance to research knowledge

“The event facilities are located in the entrance floor so that the current events will be readily and freely accessible. Some events will take place online as well, so that alumni and other friends of science across the country will have a chance to participate. Besides in the Library Building, different events are arranged in other places across the University; for example, in Ruusupuisto, in the Main Building, on the Ylistönrinne campus, and at various natural resorts”, Anu Mustonen tells.

“The University Library Building could be described as a science living-room that draws people to scientific knowledge. It is important today when people are looking for reliable information”, says Pirjo Vuorinen.

New café and restaurant

The Library Building will also have Café Tiede (Science) and Restaurant Taide (Art), which will also offer lunchtime concerts and special science café activities.

”We hope, for example, that we could invite families with children to have science birthday parties together with the restaurant operator”, Anu Mustonen tells.

Many events will be offered online as well. These can include, for instance, topical information sessions or widely loved cultural events such as Seminaarinmäki Christmas Carols and Christmas Celebration, the streaming of which especially many JYU alumni have wished for.

”We have noticed that when streamed, a single science event may reach an audience of several thousands. Hence, reaching up to 100,000 citizens through science events should not be any over-optimistic objective”, states Anu Mustonen.

Enhanced science education for children and youth

Science education for children is an important activity in the new centre.

Another important activity to take place in the renovated Library Building is intended for children and youth. These university activities receive a learning space for this purpose, located right next to the exhibition and event facility. The learning space accommodates JYUnior activities (JYUniorit), which provide science education for children and young people.

The bodies in charge of producing and developing these activities are Jyväskylä Summer University, the museum department of the Open Science Centre, and the Central Finland LUMA Centre.

Science education, science events, and civic science activities are supported by means of a specific concept (Tietoniekka) to provide science for all.

“Multi-disciplinary and -artistic events and exhibitions serve the third mission of the University, i.e. societal interaction. By means of the Tietoniekka concept, we make the University’s rich event activities even more accessible to all citizens”, says Kati Karvonen, who is designing the concept at the Open Science Centre.

The events and exhibitions in the Library Building challenge the citizens to consider topical issues.

“In the new facilities and events, people can easily participate in discussion, improve their own skills and knowledge as well as find new perspectives for their own thinking. Interesting book, photograph, and museum collections provide opportunities for finding new knowledge, be it for students, teachers, researchers or for citizens in general”, states Pirjo Vuorinen.

In addition to the open science, library, and museum services of the Open Science Centre, the Library Building will accommodate the University’s Digital Services, Student Life activities to promote student well-being, and Café Tiede and Restaurant Taide. The second and third floor include a number of new teaching facilities equipped with latest technology.

The University Library Building was designed by Architect Arto Sipinen and it was completed in 1974. It has served as a library for over forty years. This building represents constructivism and is one of the three buildings Sipinen designed for the Seminaarinmäki campus. Along with the comprehensive renovation, the building will serve significantly more diverse purposes. Take a virtual tour in Library 2018!

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