On Tuesday afternoon, 10. March 2009, I visited with Herr Eigenbrodt at Humboldt University. Herr Eigenbrodt is the Building Consultant and Public Relations Officer of the Humboldt University Libraries. I was able to talk with him about many things, the most interesting of which is the construction of a new central library that is scheduled to open this coming summer.
In opening this new library, Humboldt will be consolidating its main collection with several of its branch libraries. I was lucky enough to see the exterior of the new structure as well as plans for the interior. The space has been planned very elegantly with group study rooms, computers, and more secluded areas for people looking for quiet.
I had been hearing about the increase in students bringing their own laptops to the library as opposed to using the provided computers. When asked about the amount of computers scheduled to be installed in the new library, Herr Eigenbrodt informed me that the libraries had been keeping close tabs on this situation. The original plans were to have 800 computers available for the students and public. They decided to drop this amount to approximately 600.
Because I had already found out that the FU Philology Library had not planned room for collection expansion, I asked what the plans were for the new Humboldt Library. They are planning for up to 10 years of expansion.
During this visit, I was also given a tour of one of Humboldt’s branch libraries. The Theological Library is located just across the Spree River. As we walked through the reference collection one book caught my eye. It was the German version of ‘Who is Who’.
I also asked about the possibility of job opportunities for Americans in German libraries. It seems that there are some jobs available, though it helps to have a niche that not many others are in. One in particular is contract negotiations between libraries and vendors.
All in all this was a fantastic trip. If you any questions for me, please feel free to email at: