Thursday, 12 April 2012

Yonsei University Library

Yonsei University
Yonsei Crest

Yonsei University's history dates back to 1885 with the founding of the first modern hospital in Korea, Kwanghyewon, and it is still closely tied to Medicine through the new Severance Hospital located close to campus.

This campus is located virtually on top of a large traffic interchange and the main route into campus is much busier due to a large road running through the centre with a constant stream of traffic.

Although I managed to take a picture without a vehicle in sight, unlike me capturing the van in front of the library entrance in the previous post!!  The buildings on this campus are many and varied each with an individual style and design.

The students also have a different style.....

Jeans, sneakers and american style jackets, but still neat and smart, and sorry Tess, I didn't get a chance to speak to them!!

The post yesterday concentrated on the U-Lounge, but I mentioned that the students need to both check into the library and check out.

One of the 4 Library entrances
This is because YUL also has a system where the students need to book their study space in advance using one of the many kiosks located around the building.  Many of these spaces are available 24/7

Study space booking kiosk 

YUL has a total of 6,000 study spaces with the majority being located within the Samsung Library facility.  The spaces are located over 5 floors within the building and range from individual study areas to group and collaborative spaces, with or without technology.

One the first two floors of the Samsung Library, there is a staircase cutting the space in half, but the same facilities can be found either side of the staircase.

View from the Multi Media Floor
The stepped arrangement of the floors creates natural separation between the activities and also provides good views of the various activities. We can see a combination of PC cluster pods, laptop working benches, individual study carrels and hidden away under the floor plate to the left, some group working pods.
Group Study Pod
These pods are in fact a figure of 8 shape with 2 study areas, the one we can see here can take groups of up to 8 students and the smaller pod behind can accommodate 4 students. They are sufficiently obscured to facilitate private study, but it is possible to see that the are occupied and being used appropriately.

Study pod facilities
The pods have a table with access to power and data, a Pc is provided with a screen and on the wall is a glass writing board.

Outside the pods, the view is of the other facilities below, 

View of PC clusters and Laptop benches from pod level

Another view down the levels
The PC Cluster units are really nicely designed, plenty of room for one person, PC tucked neatly underneath and the grey top is actually ventilation for the PCs.

View of set up

The next floor is dedicated to multimedia facilities providing the whole range of playback and editing facilities.

Viewing station for one, the umbrella turned out to b a key piece of equipment that day 

Also provided are viewing stations for two students 
Full editing facilities available
Studio, staff are on hand to provide support and training
Studio Gallery 
In addition to the general facilities, there is a small film viewing theatre which can be booked, but also where films are shown on several days of the week.  The Librarians choose the films, and the students simply turn up.
Film Theatre, capacity 40
In addition to student facilities, the Librarians have their own training room for delivering training on library systems etc.

The PCs in this training room are located under the desk and the monitor drops into the table top

This multimedia lectern has a clever sliding top, here open, 
and here closed
The final floor to see was the Information commons.  This floor is separated into three sections, the two outer sections fitted with traditional study carrels, and the middle section with standard study tables.

Study carrels
There are 1,000 study spaces on this floor over the three sections

Space identification
Each space has it's own unique number so that it can be booked through the Library booking system.  Students can only make a booking once they have checked into the library.  If they leave the library before their booking ends, the system will know and after one hour, will cancel any remaining time so the space can be reassigned

Study Tables with access to power and data
Power and data delivery system within the table

This is a large facility catering for a large number of students, not only giving the students plenty of space, but also giving them many options for them to choose the space that best serves their needs at the time.  The Library was busy during my visit, but it didn't feel "crowded".  Also, the noise level in such an open facility was very low, the students were concentrating on study, but most of them were working as individuals, with group work assigned to the group study pods.

Notwithstanding the space available to it to support the students, the Library has built in expansion space.  Below the library is a 4 storey underground car park.  Two of these floors have been built to facilitate future use as library/bookstack space in the future.


  1. Hi Toni

    Can you tell me whether the screens in the PC cluster (circular set-up) are removable or are they for independent study?

    Also, how big are the group study pods?

    Rach W

  2. Hi Rach,

    The screens in the circular clusters are fixed, they are part of the cluster design to accommodate 6 students working individually.

    I will find out about the pods!


  3. Very interesting Toni, what kind of feel did the place give you? Looks a little cold and formal for an informal space? Could just be the colours and furniture arrangement.

  4. Hi James,

    The space in the entrance area it is quite a lively place, but the upper floors are very quiet, in fact I commented on how quiet it was virtually everywhere. There is an air of very serious study, which is in great contract to the wider campus which is very lively.