May 16, 2020

7 Interesting libraries around the world

Black Diamond Library
Seattle Central Library
Catherine Sturman
3 min
Seattle Central Library interior
Libraries have been established all around the world for locals, scholars and historians to develop their knowledge surrounding a variety of different s...

Libraries have been established all around the world for locals, scholars and historians to develop their knowledge surrounding a variety of different subjects through the books and digital technologies.

We take a look at seven interesting libraries which hold significant importance within local communities and will continue to be a source of cultural value.

1. St Catherine’s Monastery, Egypt

Situated close to Mount Sinai, St Catherine’s Monastery houses the oldest functioning library in the world and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built around 548 – 565, the Monastery was built in tribute to Catherine of Alexandria, who converted many to Christianity and became a martyr upon her death on the orders of Roman Emperor Maxentius.

Constructed in stone, wood and mortar, the basilica, dated from the sixth century is still preserved, in addition to the mosaic of the Transfiguration.

The pilgrimage site holds significant important to many faiths and contains valuable religious manuscripts and artefacts, some of which have been digitised for modern historians.   

2. Bodleian Library, United Kingdom

Situated within Oxfordshire, the Bodleian Library is one of the largest libraries in Europe, coming second to the British Library in London.

Constructed in the 12th century, the library was originally built within the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, which is still functional, but was moved to a new building which opened in the 13th century. The building has been expanded throughout the centuries, officially opening to the public in 1602.   

Containing over 10 million literary works, the library is popular with scholars, tourists and locals and has become a research hub within the area.

3. Central Library, Mexico

The Central Library, situated within the Ciudad Universitaria Campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has one of the most unusual library exteriors in the world with murals placed on the outside.

Completed by Juan O’Gorman, the murals have been constructed with a variety of different tiles, originating from different countries in order to create a unique look, conveying different time periods within Mexican history.

Opening in 1956, the library now holds over 400,000 books for its students and scholars and has become a World Heritage Site.

4. Allahabad Public Library, India

Built in 1864 and completed in 1870, the Allahabad Public Library was constructed in order to promote cultural, social, political and economic awareness and development of its residents, containing over 120,000 books and periodicals in a variety of languages.

5. National Library, Chile

Constructed in 1813, the National Library of Chile in Santiago now incorporates digital technology in order to develop their user base and encourage the utilisation of the library’s collection.

The library has since been moved from its original location to its current location, but is one of the oldest libraries within Latin America.

6. Black Diamond Library, Denmark

Opening in 1999, the Black Diamond Library is an extension to the Royal Library within Denmark.

Designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects, the library is constructed of black granite, situated on Copenhagen’s waterfront.

The build also incorporates other facilities, such as a restaurant, café and two museums.

7. Seattle Central Library, Washington

Despite its turbulent history, dating back to 1891, the Seattle Public Library opened in 2004, holding over 1 million books and other media materials. Other flagship libraries have since been built within the area.

Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and US architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, the library comprises of 11 floors and is predominately built from glass and steel, creating a light and airy space. 

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Jun 11, 2021

Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Construction Skills Network says UK industry must fill 216,800 posts by 2025

The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.

Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.

But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.

Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.

"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.

"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."

Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.

According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).

Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.

The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.

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