Renovated Library reopens its doors

September 29, 2011 11:00 am 0 comments

After a several million pound summer facelift, the St Andrews University library reopened to students on Monday,  26 September.

The Library Redevelopment project has seen its budget slashed from the initially proposed £47 million to £14 million, resulting in scrapping plans for a significant extension.

“The budget cuts have certainly been a disappointment to all,” noted Ewan McCubbin, the Assistant Director of Library Services. “However, we have still been able to achieve a tremendous amount of what we would have been able to do with the full budget,” he added.

This year, redevelopment works have included the addition of a cafe, furniture and carpet refurbishment, increased number of power outlets and the creation of bookable study spaces. Due to improvements in ventilation, heating and lighting, the building now boasts a more environmentally efficient design.

Some financial resources were dedicated to expanding the library’s book collection and databases, whilst the library’s opening hours have also been expanded.

Such changes responded to demand for a more study-friendly environment, modern equipment and resources, areas which had repeatedly resulted in low ratings in the iGrad survey.

Alongside its new interior design, the redevelopment has resulted in the creation of increased seating spaces. “Despite the limited budget,” McCubbin explained, “we have been able to create the same amount of seating spaces as the original plans included.”

This means an increase from 700 to 1200 spaces, which will be fulfilled after next year’s refurbishments. Extra seating space has been created by moving Special Collections to the North Haugh, as well as by relocating library staff offices from Level 1 to Level 2.

“It has meant inconvenience for the staff,” McCubbin mentioned, “but it has also provided staff with better quality accommodation.”

Further redevelopment works are due to continue in summer 2012, when Levels 3 and 4 will be refurbished. Beyond improvements in the central library, the continuation of the project also includes a new future location for Special Collections as well as the construction of a store for library resources.

The recent improvements have been the first significant investment in the library since it opened in the 1970s. “Plans for redevelopment were proposed before, but a firm decision on the final plan was not taken for many years,” McCubbin noted. “The discussion could have gone on for 10 more years,” he added. “We have shopped wisely and put students first, so we are very pleased with what we are delivering,” he concluded.

Returning students seemed impressed with the new layout. “I really like it. It’s very nice, much cleaner and brighter than before,” said Paul Ryder, a fourth year student from St Louis, Missouri.

“The cafe in particular is a great addition. People need food when they’re studying, it’s very prudent,” he added.

Share this article

Tags:

What do you think?

More from The Saint

  • St Andrews makes it four in a row

    St Andrews makes it four in a row

    Photo Credit: Scottish Rugby Since its resumption in 2011, the spectacle of the Scottish Varsity has only grown. Yesterday’s clash between St Andrews and Edinburgh was the second held at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, and was bigger and better than the year prior. This year saw the fixture...

    Read more →
  • St Andrews makes victorious debut in National League

    St Andrews makes victorious debut in National League

    Photo: St Andrews Women’s Basketball Team The St Andrews Women’s Basketball team made a successful National League debut on Sunday 18 September by edging out local rivals Edinburgh 45-44 at the University Sports Centre. The team have come along so well under Callum Knox, the coach, and topped...

    Read more →
  • The Springboks do it again

    The Springboks do it again

    As dusk settled over the Scottish scenery, the Springboks gathered at Balgove Larder to present us with an outstanding event. With the smell of freshly grilled meat on the breeze, the South African braai* spirit was definitely present. A variety of students milled about the Larder, enjoying the last...

    Read more →
  • A guide to the Mercury Prize shortlist

    A guide to the Mercury Prize shortlist

    Photo: inquirelive Blackstar by David Bowie: Blackstar was unveiled just two days before the ever-innovative Bowie succumbed to his fight with liver cancer. Creepy yet tragic, the experimental jazz instrumentation beneath an enfeebled yet unceasingly familiar voice offers a spirited goodbye and examination...

    Read more →
  • Women’s rugby set to take centre stage at Murrayfield

    Women’s rugby set to take centre stage at Murrayfield

    Photo Credit: Saints Rugby The history of the Varsity is one rich in both victory and defeat. The oldest student rugby match in the world, the sporting fixture has settled nicely into Murrayfield, where the Edinburgh and St Andrews teams will be supported by a crowd 10,000 students strong. Although the...

    Read more →