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The Library building through the years

As the Library undergoes another makeover this summer we have put together information and images of how the building has changed throughout its history.

Work this summer to create extra study spaces in the Library

This summer there will be a project in the Library to refurbish Floor 01 and to create 180 extra study spaces in the building.

Floor 02 progress in images

Here are some images to show what has been achieved on floor 02 in the last 6 weeks. The end is in sight.

Space Project Update - 31 August 2017

Progress which has been made: Most of the Library books and journals are now in their final locations and the building work on floor 01 is nearly complete with just the finishing off of the...

Space Project update - 4 August 2017

Work on the space project is progressing well and here is an update on the situation currently.

Access to Floor 01 from 31 July-18 September

The refurbishment of Floor 01 in the Library has reached a critical stage and we will have to prevent general access to part of the floor while the building and book-move work is undertaken.

Space project update : 10 July 2017

The rolling stack for floor 02 has arrived today and fitting has started and this will last until 30 July. Apologies for the noise that this work will cause.

Silent Reading Room Floor 01 (01.36) unavailable from Monday 3 July

The Silent Reading Room on Floor 01 will be unavailable from Monday 3 July and will re-open on Monday 18 September due to the refurbishment project to improve study space on that floor. This also...

Work to start soon on Floor 02

Work is to start on Floor 02 of the Library from Monday 19 June.

General information General information

These pages tell you a bit more about the project and how it might affect you over the summer months. We will try and include as many photos and images as possible so you can see how work is progressing.There are frequently asked questions available.

You can also keep up to date via our Twitter feed and if you have any queries please email:

Why are we doing it?

We’ve looked at recent feedback and identified that creating more study space in the Library was a priority, and the university has provided funds that should enable us to provide around 180 additional study spaces.  But we also hope to

  • Improve the layout of Floor 01 to open up the space 
  • Provide a wider range of study spaces with new furniture layouts
  • Create additional group study space
  • Increase power socket availability for mobile devices

New Floor 01 layout

What are we doing?

In order to create the space for more study desks, we are installing new rolling stack on Floor 02 and moving most of the printed journals down onto that floor.  This will give us the space to provide an additional 180 study spaces to better accommodate demand at the busy times of year.  There will also be a greater variety in the type of spaces available to study within the library including a new group study area and some bookable individual study booths.

  • Most of the carrels on Floor 01 will be removed, to allow more natural daylight onto the floor
  • We will provide over 100 additional silent study spaces on Floor 01 with new furniture and fabric colours designed to bring the outside in and make the whole floor feel lighter and more welcoming
  • We will create a new group study area with 14 PCs on Floor 01 to help meet demand for more computers and more group study space
  • We will also create some additional study spaces in the window bays on Floor 02
  • We will be providing an additional 5 height adjustable desks
  • We will put more power onto desktops so that you can plug in your mobile devices as you sit and study

When will the work begin and how long will it take?

Nothing will happen in the Library until the end of the main examination period.  Below is a rough guide to what will be happening when, but things are likely to change and we will do our best to keep you updated on a weekly basis, particularly when noisy or disruptive work is planned.

Week commencing
19 June Demolition work will start on Floor 02 (2-3 weeks)
10 July Installation of the new rolling stack on Floor 02 (2-3 weeks)
31 July Start of the book and journal moves (3-4 weeks)
21 August Demolition work on Floor 01
4 September Installation of new furniture ( 2 weeks)


How will the work affect me?

We appreciate that any work of this kind is going to be disturb Library users.  That is why we have planned that none of the work takes place until the main examination period is over.  We will be working with the contractors to ensure that any noisy work takes place early in the day to minimise disruption. We will keep these web pages updated regularly and will use Twitter and notice boards to alert users to work that is taking place each day.  Staff at the Library Reception Desk will always be able to advise you of the quietest parts of the building where you are least likely to be disturbed by the work

Do please get in contact with us, by email, phone or even the Noise Line (07824 301748) to alert us to any problems so we can do our best to fix things.

How will the work affect users of Archives and Special Collections?

Users of Archives and Special Collections, located on Floor 02 will be particularly be affected during the first few months.

The Archive Reading Room will be inaccessible between 16 June and 18 August.

To safeguard collections, there will be no access to our Archive material during this time.

There will be limited and bookable access to Special Collections items within Silent Reading Room - Periodicals Rm 02.32 by prior arrangement with Archive staff.

There will be one microfilm reader available within Silent Reading Room - Periodicals Rm 02.32  with a printing facility. This will be bookable by prior arrangement.

Unless advertised otherwise, access hours will be 09:30-12:30 and 13:30-16:30

Please email to make a request for Special Collections or for microfilm access and provide as much notice as possible.

If we have no existing bookings on a particular day, we will assist you whenever we can.

Archives staff will relocate from their office to Silent Reading Room - Periodicals Rm 02.32

If you have any concerns about the loss of access during this period, please contact Justine Mann

Why is most of the work taking place on Floor 01?

Floor 01 is the only reading floor in the building that has not benefited from any refurbishment or new furniture and really needs some attention and improvements.  We do appreciate however that many of the resources on this floor are used by FMH students who do not follow the standard academic year.  This means that it is just not possible to find a window of opportunity for this kind of work, which does not impact negatively on some Library users.

Why are we removing some of the study carrels?

In order to maximise study space capacity and create an attractive and varied work environment we will be removing 16 of the 19 carrels on Floor 01.  All the existing carrels on Floors 2 and 3 will remain.  The accessible carrel will remain.  We are installing 16 study booths with power and a lamp which will be bookable, just like the carrels.  In addition we will be providing 35 other study booths which will provide an individual private work space for a greater number of students that we can achieve just using the carrels.

The carrels currently block much of the heating and natural daylight on Floor 01.  Removing the carrels on the West and South sides of Floor 01 will improve the amount of daylight and enable you to have views of the outside world.

What is happening to LaRC?

The facilities in Learning & Resources Centre (LaRC) were first provided almost 15 years ago and are underutilised.  The space will be converted back into its original open plan state by removing the partition walls and the false ceilings.  The space will then be used to install the new rolling stack shelving and we will be able to provide an extra 20 silent study spaces in the window bays on that floor.  We hope to re-purpose many of the IT facilities in this area and the books will be re-housed elsewhere in the Library.

What is happening to Group Study Room 02.54?

This room will be demolished as part of the work to install the new rolling stack.  We will however be providing around 70 new group study spaces on Floor 01 to meet the demand for more group working areas in the building.  This new group study space will also have 14 computers as we know it can be difficult to find a computer to use at peak times. 

Frequently asked questions Frequently asked questions

The aim of these frequently asked questions is to address the specific concerns/questions being raised by library users and they will be updated through the project to make them relevant to the current situation and will reflect the questions that people are asking. 

Why are you doing this now?

In response to student demand, we need to create more study spaces and improve the environment on Floor 01 of the library (the last floor to be refurbished).  By moving the printed journals to rolling stack and re-arranging the book stock we will create more and better study spaces and will be upgrading the book stock through a withdrawals programme that will provide space for growth of newer items.

How long is this going to last?

The project is expected to last from late June until early September,

Will I still be able to borrow and return books?

Yes books will be accessible throughout the project.  We may have to fetch some material for you when building works prevent direct access to the shelves.

What access will there be to the print journals during the refurbishment

Limited access to the print journal collection will be available with a fetch and carry service at selected times during the process.

Can I access material online?

Yes.  There should be no disruption to online resources,

Will there be noise in the library while the project is underway?

Noise disruption will be advertised on a daily basis on a notice board in the Library, on the library website and via Twitter.

Can I still book and use the group study rooms on Floor 01?

Yes, access to the group study rooms will be maintained throughout the project.

Will the Silent Study Room on Floor 01 remain open over the summer

No, the room will be closed from Monday 3 July - Monday 18 September. This will also mean the lockers in the room not being available from Saturday 1 July - Monday 18 September.

Can I still book and use single study rooms including the room for students with additional needs?

Access may be limited at times although alternative single study rooms are available on other floors of the library.

Will access to Floor 01 still be available via the “back” stairs?

Access will be available.

Will there be alternative study spaces during my exam period?

The whole of the rest of the library will be available as study space particularly after 16 June

Will there be disruption during my exam period?

We cannot guarantee that there won’t be disruption.  We will try to keep this to a minimum with nosiest work being undertaken early in the day and plenty of notices about likely disruption and alternative locations to study.

Library on twitter



Frequently asked questions



Contact Us Contact Us

Questions / comments about the project?



Need help? Have a problem?

Library Helpdesk (Floor 0)

Location: Floor 0


Tel.: 01603 592993


Being disturbed?

Noise line: 07824 301748