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The McGill Library

Fiat Lux – the McGill Library reimagined.

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Your support will help to create a new McGill Library that is at the forefront of developments in higher education, with state-of-the-art learning spaces that foster creativity and collaboration.

McGill has developed a bold vision to transform the Library into a cutting-edge nexus for teaching, learning and research in the digital age.

The words inscribed above the entrance to an early Library building, Fiat Lux – Let There Be Light, reflect the goal of this ambitious undertaking: to create a new Library complex that will accommodate exciting advances in technology-based learning and meet the needs of current and future McGill students, faculty and researchers.

This exciting endeavour will incorporate a rebuilt Redpath and renovated McLennan Library Building in an expanded space to suit modern users. It will be a vital centre of campus life, offering a wide array of virtual and on-site programming to support research and learning, including rapid access to print media.

The role of the McGill Library in teaching and learning has never been more important. With the support of a committed community, the reimagined Library will lead McGill into its third century.

Discover our vision for the future

Building innovative services and versatile spaces

The reimagined Library will feature physical and virtual spaces that encourage student innovation and teamwork, with varied seating that accommodates solitude, conversation, immersive research or social interaction, coupled with open, flexible environments that reflect the dynamics of modern work and study.

Your support will help us create:

  • A multi-functional stepped forum with flexible seating and large-screen displays to accommodate a variety of uses, including lectures
  • A light-filled main reading room
  • A sustainable terrace garden, serving as a meeting and study space
  • An interdisciplinary study area for graduate students
  • A library instruction classroom, offering sessions on subjects related to information literacy
  • A fully equipped 50-seat conference room
  • Uniquely designed meeting rooms with high-tech communications tools
  • Versatile and fully outfitted group study rooms
  • Relaxing reading nooks
McGill libraries research resources
Courtesy: North Carolina State University Libraries:

Unleashing our full research potential

The digital age has transformed how students and faculty seek information and connect with each other. The reimagined Library will provide flexible spaces that incorporate new and emerging technologies, giving the entire McGill community the resources to tackle the toughest issues and inspire the next generation of innovative minds.

Your support will help us create:

  • A synergistic Research Commons, where users can experiment with storytelling through visualization data and immersive technologies like augmented/virtual/mixed reality, speech recognition and artificial intelligence.
  • A new Digital Scholarship Centre, offering users the space, resources and guidance to work on projects involving geospatial analysis; video and audio recording and editing; textual and image analysis and web design.
  • An Innovation Lab, where users can explore how to grow their ideas through entrepreneurship workshops, case competitions and presentations by industry experts.

Engaging the community with extraordinary collections

The new Library will offer custom-designed spaces that facilitate the sharing of McGill’s impressive holdings of current and rare materials with a diverse group of users and scholars from across the city and around the world, through exhibitions, colloquia and events.

Your support will help to create:

  • Enlarged facilities for Rare Books & Special Collections, including a welcoming reading room and expanded research space that will optimize scholarly access to McGill’s impressive collection of rare books, literary manuscripts, maps, archives, private papers and prints
  • A light-filled double-story Atrium that will be a go-to destination for gatherings, special events, presentations and exhibitions
  • A new climate-controlled exhibition gallery showcasing important works in McGill’s Visual Arts Collection
library collections
Courtesy: Carleton College:
McGill LIbrary enhancing resources
Courtesy: Euro-Friwa GmbH:

Delivering enhanced resources

A disproportionate amount of the Library’s floor space is used for book storage, severely limiting study space. While the use of digital resources has increased, printed material remains an important scholarly tool. The new Library will replace old-fashioned stacks with a modern storage solution for its important printed holdings.

Your support will help us create:

  • A new high-tech collection management facility for some 2.7 million volumes and archival holdings, with spaces for conservation treatment, digitization and archival storage of fragile documents
  • Off-site storage robots that will retrieve the requested material for prompt delivery to one of the Library’s branches

Creating a welcoming environment

Equipped with an array of essentials that enhance the user experience, from high-tech message boards, to light-filled study spaces and plenty of comfortable seating, McGill’s reimagined Library will offer an environment that nurtures productivity.

Your support will help us create:

  • A main-floor Ask Us Centre
  • An interactive video wall, featuring curated content from McGill’s extensive collections
  • Bright, inviting lobby areas on each of the floors of the McLennan Library Building
  • Digital information walls, scattered throughout the new Library
  • Interactive exhibition tables that help Library visitors access rare and special materials
  • Curved modular bookcases and semi-circular banquettes that create private study spaces and quiet reading areas
  • Wellness stations with bicycle and treadmill study desks
McGill Libraries environment
Courtesy: David Silver:

State-of-the-art learning spaces. Made for students like Alyanna Jamal.

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McGill Library Student Alyanna Jamal

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