TU Ilmenau University Library receives ‘Future Shapers in Libraries’ award

Studierende im Lernraum an einem Flipchart, ein Student im Vordergrund benutzt ein TabletTU Ilmenau/Stefan Riehmer
Whiteboards, flipcharts, pinboards and mobile touch displays are available in the learning world

The University Library of TU Ilmenau has been awarded the "Future Shapers in Libraries" prize. The prize recognizes the library spaces designed and used in participatory processes as part of the "Learning World, Teaching Place, Makerspace" project. The prize, which is sponsored by the publisher De Gruyter and awarded in cooperation with the journal BIBLIOTHEK Forschung und Praxis and the Zukunftswerkstatt Kultur- und Wissensvermittlung, has only been awarded to two projects in Germany each year since 2012.

The "Zukunftsgestalter:innen in Bibliotheken" award goes to the University Library of TU Ilmenau for its project "Lernwelt, Lehrort, Makerspace - Partizipative Raumgestaltung an der UB Ilmenau". Two years ago, in spring 2022, the library began working with partners from TU Ilmenau to transform an area of the reading room into a multifunctional, experimental teaching and learning space. Both the needs of the students and the requirements of the teaching staff were taken into account.

Acoustic walls, whiteboards, flipcharts and pinboards will be set up and mobile touch displays installed this summer. The project will be integrated into teaching in the 2022/23 winter semester: On several dates per week, hybrid group work and lectures will take place in the redesigned rooms in the "Development Methodology" course. Lecturers will hold events in which students will be "connected" partly on site and partly with 360-degree cameras and thus work together in hybrid groups.

zwei Studierende arbeiten mit Stoffen für ihr NähprojektTU Ilmenau/Stefan Riehmer
Creative work is possible in the makerspace

At the same time, the makerspace is being created - a place right next to the new learning world where creative work is possible. A sewing machine and a dress mannequin can be used there and a large selection of fabrics is also available. The makerspace is therefore part of TU Ilmenau's FabLab, which includes two other creative spaces in the Ilmkubator,the university's start-up service, and at the UNIKAT student workshop.

The award also recognizes the creativity of the entire TU Ilmenau project group, which includes the university library, the Central Institute for Education, the Group of Product and System Development, the Ilmkubator start-up service and the UNIKAT student workshop. Together, they developed a university library in the middle of the reading room from a place of learning to a place of learning and teaching. In the new learning world, students now have an area that is ideal for group work and creative thinking, even outside of lectures, and where they can design their own individual working environment using the mobile elements. New teaching methods ensure improved study conditions and thus a more sustainable acquisition of knowledge.

The call to continue to help shape the university library creatively is already being implemented in a variety of ways. Teachers are adapting existing teaching concepts to the conditions at the university library and developing completely new teaching concepts. Students are discovering new forms of learning and are also using the rooms outside of their courses. And in the Makerspace@UB, students offer workshops for students, for example on sewing or crocheting. The plan for the future is to further develop the learning space in a variety of ways and together with the users.


Milena Pfafferott
University Library

+49 3677 69-4605