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BUC - University Central Library

The University Main Library, designed by architect Renzo Piano, houses the book collections of the departments of Economics and Management, Law, Humanities, Sociology and Social Research.
It was mainly conceived for the university’s students and faculty, but it will be open to everyone and welcome professionals, scholars, readers. The library is part of the Sistema Bibliotecario Trentino, Trentino’s library system, and is a fully-fledged public library.

The construction is imposing, with 7 storeys in 4 separate buildings. Glass, steel and concrete are combined in a structure that plays with volumes, a delicate architecture that lets in a lot of light. Light comes from the huge windows but also from interior colour selection: book shelves, staircases and some 9,000 square meters of flooring are in bamboo, a sustainable type of wood (a naturally fast growing plant), that was chosen also for its tone that stimulates concentration. Sustainability and eco-friendliness are the strengths of the new building: a trigeneration system provides electricity, heating and cooling. And a rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater and uses it to feed the irrigation system and for toilet flushing. To facilitate mobility of students and employees, the library was equipped with a charging station for electric cars, and those who commute by bike can also take advantage of the shower facilities provided.
These environmentally friendly choices earned the building a Gold Leed® certificate, but it also meets fire resistance and seismic performance standards, of course.

BUC is an open stack library and users have direct access to its 240,000 volumes, the complete issues of about 80 law journals and the most recent issues of 1,500 current journals.
Users are free to pick a book from the shelf and borrow it through the self-service loan system if they have a personal id library card.
Catalogue searches are essential (and search touch screens are available among the aisles in every room) but a walk along the stacks among books and journals can lead to additional, unexpected, discoveries. On every floor, stairs give access to wide rooms where users are in direct contact with books.
Books, arranged under the Dewey decimal classification, are housed in 15 large rooms on 7 floors. They are organized by their subject matter, similar subjects are grouped together, in every room and on every floor. From the open staircases and the light-filled hall, users enter in smaller, comfortable, wood-panelled rooms, where a peaceful atmosphere favours reading and silence. The rooms are quieter, but still spacious: they receive light from the inclined glass roof that spans over all floors, for a total seating capacity of 430.

The library brings together two university libraries and unites the collections of four large humanities departments of the University of Trento. It is a University library, but not a special library.
It will also serve as a place where citizens and academics from different backgrounds can meet and discuss.