Key Facts and Figures

Key Facts

Project scope: To extend and remodel the 1975 library building to create an adaptable, light modern library incorporating a range of new facilities. In addition the project included a separately accessed 500 seat lecture theatre with accompanying seminar rooms and the refurbishment of part of the adjacent Fielding Johnson Building.

Floor area: 15,500 sq m. Original building 7952 sq m

Project Milestones

Design team appointed: 22 March 2004
Planning permission received: December 2004
Building contractor appointed: Spring 2005
Building began: May 2005
Extension occupied: April 2007
Completion: April 2008


£32m including VAT. Of this £4m was funded from SRIF, £5m from fundraising (including £2m from David Wilson, the premier benefactor), remainder from University resources. Cost per square metre £2258.

Contract type: Design and build

Architects: Associated Architects
Project managers and cost consultants: Faithful & Gould
Engineers: Faber Maunsell
Construction: Marriott
Removals: Harrow Green


Reader tables: N E J Stevenson, Rugby
Informal furniture: Go Modern
Vitra Vis a Vis Reader chairs: Atkinson Contracts, Leicester
Office furniture: Emergent Crown
Shelving: Nordplan (plus extensive refurbishment by Bruynzeel of existing basement compact shelving)

Key facilities

  • 1500 user spaces of all types
  • 38 km of shelving in total, over 1 million volumes on the shelves
  • 350 PCs
  • Wireless network throughout
  • 14 Group study rooms
  • Kirby & West Special Collections Suite for rare books and manuscripts to BS5454 standard
  • Graduate School Reading Room
  • Express Zone incorporating short loan and pick up of reserved books
  • RFID self issue and return
  • Help zone – combined Library and IT enquiries and assistance
  • 2 IT training rooms, sponsored by Leicester Mercury, a Northcliffe Media Company
  • Additional student facilities:
    • Careers Service
    • AccessAbility Zone
    • 500 seat lecture theatre with associated seminar rooms

Green credentials

  • BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent rating
  • Green research – the production of  green electricity using three silicon photovoltaic technologies is being evaluated by the University’s Engineering Department with funding from the DTI.

Read more about this Environmentally Efficient Building.

Usage during the first Academic year

August 2008 - July 2009

Visits: 1,137,366
Busiest month: May 2009 192,115

Busiest day: 9,000 + visits

Book issues: 645,110 book issues since 1 April 2008
Self-service: Over 90% of book issues and returns now go through the self-service machines

Building Awards

The David Wilson Library has won a number of awards.

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