Interview: Aude Robin

XL Library... an ever-expanding media library

Aude Robin can't wait to see the place once again filled with Excelians, but until then, the Head of Excelia's library and her team have plenty to keep them busy, managing our extensive paper-based and digital collections.


Aude Robin

You have been working at Excelia's media library for the past 14 years and became Head in September 2020. It must have been a strange time to take up a new position...

Yes, indeed, it was quite a chaotic time, what with a new team, the health crisis, the increased use of distance learning, the acquisition of new campuses, as well as the digital transformation throughout the School.

All this meant that we had to speed up both the implementation of ideas initiated in previous years and the evolution of our services, in order to adapt to new practices. Lucile Isambert was therefore appointed as Documentalist and Digital Communications Coordinator to strengthen our small but complementary team.



Can we still talk about "media libraries" without being considered old-fashioned?

It is certainly true that the current range of services, increasingly digital, differs from that of a traditional media library. In fact, a consultation of the needs of users and the name itself was initiated at the beginning of 2021, in several phases... a national and international survey of school library names, a survey on social media, focus groups with teachers and students, as well as personal interviews.

From this process arose the need for a simple name, understood by all, including those abroad, that clearly identified its purpose. As a result, "XL Library" was the name chosen by the community as a whole, and validated by the Management Committee in April!


So, XL Library is essentially a library that thinks big?

It's an expanded facility made up of a collection of printed works, some 10-11,000 books, specialised works covering Management, HR, Marketing, Logistics, Economics, Tourism, Environment, Sustainable Development, etc., all relevant to our study programmes, as well as an exponential digital collection of some 35,000 e-books, more than 9,000 specialised and academic press publications, as well as market research databases on nearly 200 sectors... all of which are regularly updated.

And not forgetting a selection of the best student dissertations, and pedagogical cases either from case study centres or those produced by our very own teachers!


What is the role of XL Library?

XL Library aims to be a third place, somewhere for sharing and learning, but also for conviviality and well-being, where over 500 m2 of space has been adapted into diverse areas for all users: a cosy corner, co-working cubicles, individual or group work rooms, which will soon be bookable via a dedicated app. It's also home to the Lab, where the teams from the ICT Unit, Pedagogical Innovation, Game Lab and INNOV Case Lab can get together to work and discuss matters.

And in addition to traditional library services, XL Library, like other learning centres, could provide the opportunity for new services. Some of the needs that have already been identified include offering IT assistance, a video editing suite, and a language lab.


Does this massive move towards dematerialisation herald the end of printed media?

People remain attached to the paper format... for instance, when we "weed out" our collection (sorting out books to renew the stock), students are always keen to take the free books. The remainder are collected by Ammareal, a circular economy company specialising in second-hand books. However, it's true that the sector is going digital. Our portal is going to be redesigned in order to harmonise the collections of our Tours and Orleans libraries, thereby providing a coherent global offer on all Excelia campuses.