The 1934 building was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott (who also designed the famous red telephone box now popular as makeshift village libraries), and while impressive and imposing lacks an engaging external landscaped setting.

The competition, says university librarian Anne Jarvis, "offers an exciting opportunity to elicit fresh and unconventional ideas for the landscape surrounding the library, which could transform not just the entrance sequence to the library, but the way such open social spaces are being used."

Follow the links on the right to see a filmed report and further information about the competion, open to anyone, which closes at the end of November.