Multi-functional library design and sustainability: Designing multi-functional learning resource centres in Vietnam

Michael Robert Owen ROBINSON, Huynh Dinh CHIEN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


There have been many examples worldwide of the integration or sharing of library buildings with other types of facilities and institutions. In some of these cases, the objective has been to create synergy in the cultural missions of these different institutions. However, the integration of cultural and other functions into library spaces can also serve a much more fundamental and practical requirement: - to promote the long-term sustainability and development of the library itself. This paper will discuss a number of innovative library development projects in Vietnam, where large scale “Learning Resource Centres” have been built with foreign philanthropic assistance at four regional universities. In these projects, the objective of the integration of other functions into the design of the library has been to develop facilities which either directly or indirectly generate income or support which contribute to the ongoing management and future development of the library services. This is critical in the Vietnamese academic library context, where funding to maintain and develop library services and buildings is often limited. With this in mind, integration, multi-functionality, and flexibility of design have been important considerations since the inception of the Learning Resource Centre projects, and have been incorporated into thinking about the design and layout of the buildings from the earliest stages of each project. The paper will review the range of cultural, teaching and learning, research and commercial spaces integrated into the Learning Resource Centres in Vietnam, and will discuss the design processes and outcomes in each case. In particular, the paper will focus on the most advanced of these projects: – the Learning Resource Centre at Hue University in central Vietnam. Here, facilities such as a restaurant, gallery and exhibition spaces, and conference and seminar facilities, have all been designed into the building, so that it blends its teaching and learning function with other activities and institutions in this UNESCO World Heritage centre of Vietnam, contributing income towards the long-term development of the University’s library service. While concentrating on projects in Vietnam, the paper will offer models and possible benefits of multi-functional library design which have implications for the design and ongoing management of libraries in developing nations in general. Copyright © 2006 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


Robinson, M., & Chien, H. D. (2006, August). Multi-functional library design and sustainability: Designing multi-functional learning resource centres in Vietnam. Paper presented at World Library and Information Congress 2006: 72nd IFLA General Conference and Council: Libraries: Dynamic Engines for the Knowledge and Information Society, Seoul, South Korea.


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