Library of the Month: Eastman Dental Library
22 February 2018
myUCL Student Journalist Robert Vilkelis explores UCL's Library of the Month.
As one of UCL's lesser known libraries, the Eastman Dental Library is the perfect spot for a bit of peace and quiet. Step off Gray's Inn Road and into an 1800s courtyard that was the original site of the Royal Free Hospital. Head towards the furthest door on the left that reads "Sussex Wing" - you'll soon find yourself in this quiet and modern library.
This month we're joined by Librarian Alex Stagg and Information Services Coordinator Andy Thompson to discover the specialist library that's nestled between Chandler House and Langton Close.
"We are supporting people who are helping people"
While niche in its nature, the space is dynamically versatile and is open to all students - you don't have to be a dentist to make the most of this space.
Among normal UCL desktops and multi-function devices, the 76 space-strong library hosts NHS-networked computers and transparency scanners for x-ray film. If you want to work on a group presentation, there's also a sound insulated, circular meeting pod you can duck into.
Alongside the space's offerings, you'll find that the range of subjects in here is broader than you'd think. While among the 3,500 books you're sure to find reads from orthodontics to dental hygiene, you'll also find microbiology textbooks and psychology workbooks.
This library is all about bringing together research and clinical practice, and that's what Alex and his team pride themselves on.
"It's nice to work in a good environment in a hospital and institute where people are ostensibly making a difference in helping people."
The library with a living collection
While you'll eye up a long line of consecutive-year Green UCL awards in the foyer and decades of colourfully-bound journals situated along the library's mezzanine, Andy is first to admit, "We have very little archival stuff, actually."
From the constantly updating book stocks to the latest editions of dentistry journals, the library hosts an evolving collection for the evolving needs of its users.
"What we've got is a live collection supporting what's going on in the hospital."
Great greenery and plentiful places
In this cosy, spacious and well-lit library, you'll find lovingly maintained greenery around every corner. That only enlivens the quality of the space, from the lobby to the cluster room to the two-levelled mezzanine study space.
When you're selecting your place to study you can find plenty of variety in the main room, you can take a right to settle down in the public cluster, or bear left to cosy up in the mezzanine room. You'll find easy access to printing wherever you go.
When you do go up to the mezzanine, be sure to turn the corner into their cosy corridor of colourful dentistry and medical journals. Open the right books, and you can learn about what was cutting edge back in 1969; look in the right places, and you can find competitions that ask you how to diagnose and treat a specific dental problem for your chance to win the latest 1992 sponsored dentist kits!
Great spaces and interesting materials, all contained within a colourful history. What's not to like?
When are you stopping by?
"In the Google age, we're still here; we're still here to help you with study or research, and we're still here to improve your experience at UCL."
Whether you're living in halls of residence nearby, finding yourself along Gray's Inn Road or practicing as a hardworking dental specialist in the hospital, now's as good a time as any to drop in and settle down among keen staff and energising natural light - you'll always find a good space waiting for you.