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Main Library building work – Summer 2012

April 10, 2012

The second part of Phase One of the Main Library redevelopment project will be taking place this summer.  The work will be focused on levels 3&4 of the Main Library Building.

Improvements to be delivered in 2012 include:

  • Provision of an additional 260 study spaces including 2 additional group study rooms and an increase in computer spaces on levels 3&4 from 18 to 72
  • Re-carpeting and re-lighting the two floors to bring them up to the same standard as  levels 1&2
  • Installation of new trench heating
  • Refurbishment and upgrading of all furnishings
  • Construction of new entrance lobbies to help improve sound insulation
  • Re-organisation of the stock into single sequences of books and journals

Unlike last summer, the Main Library building will remain OPEN throughout the summer vacation and the vast majority of services, including Inter Library Loan, short loan, group study facilities and liaison support, will continue to operate as normal throughout this period.  

Nonetheless there will be some disruption to services this summer.  In order for the contractors to complete the refurbishment work, there will be no public access to levels 3 & 4 from the 24th May (after the last examination) until the start of Orientation week in September.  During this period, Library staff will have restricted access to these levels to allow us to re-introduce the book retrieval service we operated last summer. 

There may also be times when the building work will generate significant levels of noise.

Access to materials from levels 3 & 4

  • From 24th May, any user wishing to access stock from levels 3 & 4 in the Main Library will be able to request it by placing a recall through SAULCAT.
  • Items recalled will be available to collect from the Main Library Short Loan/Holds area with users being notified by email that their material is available.  Recalled items will be kept for 5 days.
  • Stock retrieval will take place daily with items normally being available within 48 hours.

Extended borrowing:

  • All University of St Andrews students and staff will be able to apply for an additional borrowing card to allow them to double their borrowing entitlement over the summer once they have used up their standard entitlement.  Additional borrowing cards will be available from Monday 7th May and the cards will remain valid until Friday 21st September.
  • We’re also increasing the number of times any user can renew an item from 4 to 6 for standard loans and 20 to 30 for multiple copy items.  You should be aware however, that any items on loan will remain subject to recall over the summer.

If you’ve any questions about your borrowing entitlements either before the 24th May or over the summer, please don’t hesitate to contact our Helpdesk on 01334 462283 or via email

Preparation for the summer

Book returns: In order to help our re-shelving process, we would like to encourage all users to return any books they won’t require over the summer to us as soon as they are able.  If you’re taking exams during May, please try to remember to drop off any module related material as soon as your exams are over.

Please plan ahead: If you know you’ll need certain material during the summer, please borrow as much of it as you can before we stop public access to levels 3 & 4 in the Main Library on the 24th of May.  It would help us enormously!


All the study accommodation on level 2 of the Main Library building, including the group study rooms, will remain available throughout the summer.  However, we recognize that there may be times when, owing to noise being generated by the building work taking place on levels 3 & 4, it may be difficult to study in the Main Library building.

The University has agreed with the academic Schools that they should be on standby to make space available in their buildings over the summer if approached by groups of students looking for study space.  This arrangement has the potential to deliver over 1,500 additional study spaces.

If you need to find additional study space this summer, please approach the relevant School administrator in the first instance.

Our other Libraries, St Mary’s College Library (44 seats) and JF Allen (65 seats), will continue to operate as normal over the summer.  Full details of their locations and opening hours are available from our website.

This summer, the 24 hour PC classrooms in Butts Wynd and the Bute will also be available.

Other Services

Café 1413: The café will remain open over the summer.  The café will be staffed from 09:00 – 18:00, Monday – Friday, and will remain open for self-service at other times when the building is open.

Main Library Opening hours:     

Monday – Friday 09:00 – 20:00
Saturday 10:00 – 14:00

If you want the most up to date, full information about our plans, please check our Library Redevelopment blog at You can also follow us on Twitter @StAndrewsUniLib, find us on Facebook or speak to a member of our staff.

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