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Main Library reopening on Monday 26th September 2011

September 12, 2011
The new library helpdesk
Following the closure of the Main Library building in May this year, the Library is delighted to announce that the building will reopen at the start of the new semester, Monday 26th September at 8am.

Over the course of the last 16 weeks a complete renovation of level 2, the entrance level of the library, has been accomplished, effecting a ‘fast-forward’ from a 1970s academic library building to one which provides state-of-the-art facilities.

Some of the new features on level 2 include:

  • Major improvements in the provision of heating, ventilation and lighting, which will ensure that the building remains a comfortable place to work at all times of the year.
  • Upgrading of furnishing and fittings, including the replacement of the much-discussed carpet.
  • An increase of 150 seats on level 2, with a variety of layouts, offering users a greater choice of study environment.
  • Re-siting of the entrance of the building to provide a more visible, welcoming entry point along with a new disabled access door.
  • A new swipe card entry/exit system to improve security for Library users, which will be activated in a few weeks’ time, together with improved wheelchair access.
  • Provision of a café, named ‘Café 1413’, where all users of the Library can take a break from their studies, purchase hot drinks and food, and meet with friends and colleagues. The café will be open every day, including weekends and into the evenings, and when the servery is closed vending machines will still be available.
  • Provision of 4 bookable group study rooms.
  • Open-access group study desks and pods.
  • A ‘Welcome Desk’ to greet Library users and to provide help and information.
  • A brighter main concourse.
  • Improved lighting and digital signage, exhibition space and notice boards.
  • Express-access PCs close to the entrance.
  • Improved self-service borrowing and return of books, and self-check for reserved items.
  • A new ‘book sorting’ machine which sorts returned books automatically, allowing them to be reshelved more quickly on the upper Levels.
  • Comfortable casual seating.
  • Extended opening hours until 2.00am Sunday-Thursday during semester, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

However, this is not the end of the project to improve the Main Library building From summer 2012 the second part of the redevelopment project will commence to improve levels 3 and 4, and bring them up to the same standard as level 2.

The refurbishment of the Main Library building is only the first phase of our programme to revitalize our Library spaces.  The Library is also pushing ahead with plans for a new Special Collections facility, in order that our treasures – collections of major national and international significance for Scottish history, literature and the history of photography – will have a home fit for purpose, with the ability to exhibit these collections, and furnish researchers and visitors with the reading rooms and the specialist environments they require. With a fund-raising push from our Development team, together with continued University investment, the Library should see this vision become a reality in the coming years.

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