New librarian appointed to oversee redevelopment plans


The University welcomed Mr John MacColl, a new University Librarian and Director of Library Services, on 7 February 2011.

An alumnus of the University of St Andrews, Mr MacColl graduated in 1983 with a First in English Language and Literature. From there he gained qualifications at Robert Gordon University in Librarianship and Information Studies as well as a Masters in Education from the University of Aberdeen.

He has since gone on to have an extensive career in managing libraries such as the Glasgow, Edinburgh and Abertay University libraries. He has been heavily involved in digital resources at all these institutions and joins the University from the post of European Director at the Research Libraries Group, an online library database.

University Proctor Professor Peter Clark said, “We are delighted to welcome John to the University as Librarian and Director of Library Services and we look forward to his leadership of our excellent library staff to meet the exciting but demanding times ahead.”

Mr MacColl described himself as “honoured and delighted” to have been appointed.He went on to say, “As one of the UK’s top universities for research and teaching, the library needs to face the challenge of matching up to the prestige and quality of its Schools and Departments.

“Furthermore, as St Andrews was the university in which I took my first degree, I am thrilled at the opportunity to improve the library experience for all users through the welcome current investment in physical redevelopment and collections.”

The appointment follows announcements over the summer of a £14 million programme of redevelopment for the university’s Main Library, £7 million of which will be spent on interior refurbishments in response to high student demand.

This was cut down from a proposed £46 million wrap around renovation due to the current economic climate.

Siena Parker, Director of Representation at the Students’ Association, said, “We look forward to working with Mr MacColl at such a critical time for the library and hope that he will be able to find a balance between raising our library’s profile at an international level and addressing the issues affecting students and staff here in St Andrews on a day to day basis.”

Erin Lyons


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