RMIT International University Vietnam has opened a "new concept" library and learning facility on the occasion of its 10th anniversary of accepting students in Vietnam, aiming to bring latest thinking in international library design to Vietnam.
The facility, at the University's Saigon South campus, is to be called the Beanland Library and Learning Commons, in honour of a former leader of RMIT University in Australia, Professor David Beanland, one of the people responsible for RMIT coming to Vietnam.
The library features a greatly expanded book collection, along with better access to many electronic databases from around the world, and a range of different spaces to allow for different kinds of study.
The library features areas where discussion in small groups is encouraged. Other parts are designed for teaching and instruction by librarians specially trained in different study programs. Librarians will also conduct library tours to help new students make the best use of the latest facilities.
Many services offered across the university – such as support to improve student learning skills – will now be accessible from within the library itself.
In opening the Beanland Library and Learning Commons, the visiting Vice Chancellor and President of RMIT University, Professor Margaret Gardner, said the facility demonstrated "a fundamental rethinking of what the library of the 21st century needs to be".
Professor Gardner said the facility was the result of intense study and research into 21st century library needs, and RMIT hoped the 20 billion VND new facility might also be a useful "demonstration centre" to help other educational institutions interested in modernising their library facilities.
RMIT Vietnam's Director of Learning and Teaching, Professor Bernadine van Gramberg, said the facility combined three essential ingredients: pedagogy, in the form of a "student centred" approach to learning; space, in the form of attractive, flexible and innovative learning and study areas; and technology, in the form of easy access to powerful information tools.
She said the facility was also a "one stop shop" for a range of important university services for students.
Guests from several universities and other institutions attended the opening of the library.