Exploring Technology-Enhanced Spaces Webinar, 20 February 2024

Over 200 attendees tuned in to hear about innovative and exciting new approaches universities are taking to embedding innovative technology into their libraries. The webinar focused on presentations from three universities.



Ciara McCaffrey showcased the technology-enabled learning spaces at the University of Limerick, including the Glucksman Library.  The presentation showcased the only automated storage and retrieval system in a university library in Europe which allows for very concentrated storage, freeing up space. The new library space is called “The Edge" and is “technology infused” with various innovative spaces such as the green screen lab, audio production booths, data visualisation lab, makerspaces, loanable technology, solo booths, and wellness spaces.


University of Limerick


Fiona Greig discussed the refurbishment plans for the Marshall Rose Library at the University of Winchester. In 2021, the University opened a new building with an innovation space with a two-sided immersive experience with streaming across two full walls, allowing users to get up close and personal with digital artefacts. It can also generate holograms for a 3D experience. Fiona shared the secrets of her success in raising £8 million for the further development of the library which includes having two new collaborative spaces, three large seminar rooms, two retreat rooms, dedicated virtual interview rooms, makerspaces, digital humanities, and a self-service kitchenette shared by staff and students.  They will be fully reopened in September 2025.    

Dr Vicky Grant and Dr Graham McElearney discussed the Digital Literacy Framework and the Creative Library Project at the University of Sheffield. Their aim is to reimagine the digital commons through a decolonised lens - at the heart of which is the active inclusion of missing voices. They set out how they are using appreciative inquiry as a collaborative organisational change technique and are engaging stakeholders including students, the library team, funders, academic colleagues and university leaders. Once complete, the library will have makerspaces, 3D printing, virtual reality technology and will embed critical AI literacy.

The webinar discussed the challenges and successes of introducing technology-infused spaces in libraries, including staffing, funding, risk assessments, and building a case for investment. The panel shared insights on evaluating usage, engaging students and faculty, and seeking external funding.

Other resources:

Chat transcript: attendee questions and comments

Ciara McCaffery's presentation (University of Limerick)

Fiona Greig's presentation (University of Winchester)

Dr Vicky Grant and Dr Graham McElearney's presentation (University of Sheffield)