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Main Library Reopens

The Main Library of the University of St Andrews has officially opened as of Monday 5 September. This follows major refurbishments which took place over the summer.

The developments include an increase of 400 study spaces, with a variety of individual and group study spaces and access to books on Level 3 and 4. Study spaces will include large tables with dividers and smaller tables with softer seating. There will also be a dedicated postgraduate study area.

There will be larger, renovated toilet facilities on these levels, as well as gender-neutral toilets on Level 2 which will be made available during semester one.

Work on Level 1 is to continue until Spring 2023. The University promises that disruption to those using the Library will be carefully managed and effectively communicated. Level 1 was previously dedicated to storage of collections which have since been moved to Walter Bower House in Guardbridge. The floor will now be a study space, creating an increase of more than 35% on the Library’s previous capacity.

There will be banks of PCs, hot and cold drinking water on each level, and a contemplation room which will be usable later in the year. On each level there is to be printing, photocopying and scanning machines. The IT and Library help desk will be open seven days a week.

Taking on board feedback from staff and students which recorded that both space and books are needed in the same place, the refurbishment project has attempted to maintain the accessibility of physical collections in the building.

In an email sent out to staff and students, Professor Tom Brown wrote ‘The project has been informed by user experiences of the building and feedback from staff and students.’

The Vice-Principal for Research, Collections and Innovation also noted, ‘Libraries are at the heart of the University, whether you are exploring the collections, visiting Library buildings, accessing digital resources at home or in your office, or receiving support from our dedicated staff. There is never a good time to close our Main Library building, however, it was necessary to enable the essential refurbishment works to begin and to deliver a world-class Library Service.’

He added, ‘Thank you again for your patience while this important project, which will benefit everyone in the University, is completed. Our Libraries and Museums staff look forward to welcoming you back to the Main Library and will be on hand to assist with any questions you may have.’

The Library will be offering 15-minute tours from Monday 12 September from 12 noon to 2pm.

Any questions regarding the project should be directed to

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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