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CYPRUS MAIL | March 14, 2009, p.6

New UCY library simple but impressive

By Jacqueline Theodoulou

THE UNIVERSITY of Cyprus (UCY) yesterday presented the designs for its Stelios Ioannou Library; a pioneering architectural feature that will be open to all.

According to Katerina Nicolaidou Pietroni, the head of the UCY press office, the library is the result of careful planning and surveys into the university’s needs.

It will be built in honour of the late Stelios Ioannou, whose wife Elli donated €5 million for the cause.

“It is due to this donation that the university was able to employ the services of internationally acclaimed architect Jean Nouvel,” Pietroni said.

The dome-shaped building, due to be completed in four years, will be simple yet impressive, fitting in nicely with its surrounding environment, UCY said. It will hold around a million tomes, more than 30,000 electronic magazines and 150 databases. Its contents will be accessible to all Cypriots.

“The immediate commencement of construction works is of the upmost significance, not just for the University of Cyprus’ development, but also for the state itself, as during a period of recess, this will boost the construction industry,” Pietroni said. “On the other hand, by delaying its construction, apart from the consequences this will have for the taxpaying public, as the longer it takes the costs will raise higher every year, its users will be deprived of its modern services for longer than required.”

Despite its grand design, Stelios Ioannou Library will cost much less compared to the new State Theatre or Supreme Court buildings.

Back in 1996, it was estimated that the building would cost around €37 million and it hasn’t veered off target.

The library, which aims to serve around 10,000 students, is now estimated to cost €38 million.

“The operation of Stelios Ioannou Library is of vital importance and will redefine the relations between students and knowledge; especially at a time when another 2,000 students will be added to the university’s community,” said Pietroni.

With over quarter of a million books on its shelves already and adding12,000 new titles a year, the UCY library is setting its sights on becoming a national research facility in collaboration with other local libraries