Retirement of Peter Sandison

Colleagues and friends have gathered to mark the retirement of Peter Sandison, Campus Library Manager for the Scottish Borders Campus, who has led our support of the co-located  students and staff of Heriot-Watt University and Borders College since 2007.

Peter with two former colleagues

Peter’s first contact with Heriot-Watt University occurred when he was a teacher on an English Language Summer School in the 1970s. In 1987 he was appointed Assistant Librarian at the Martindale Library of what was known then as the Scottish College of Textiles (SCOT). In 1996, having been Acting Chief Librarian, Peter converged the college’s Library, Computing and Audio-Visual services together and was appointed Head of Educational Services. The Scottish College of Textiles merged with Heriot-Watt  in 1998, and Peter became Manager of Library Services & Information Systems at the new Scottish Borders Campus. Borders College joined HWU at SBC in 2007, when Peter became Campus Library Manager. Additionally, Peter coordinated Friends International Borders, an informal group of local volunteers offering friendship and hospitality to overseas students at the Scottish Borders Campus.

Peter embraced all of these changes with gusto and consistently applied his considerable energy to enhancing the services he and his colleagues offered students and academics. He has worked enthusiastically with colleagues across Information Services globally, and brought his extensive experience to bear in formal committees and informal groups, always seeking to enhance the range and quality of our services. In 2015 Peter’s work was recognised through the Sprit of Heriot-Watt Award for Pursuing Excellence.

We thank Peter for all his work and friendship over the years and wish him a long and happy retirement.


Free – online EndNote training

Dates have been posted at for August, September and October.


Check out the other EndNote training resources at .

Work in progress – Learning Commons (Edinburgh campus)

Located on the ground floor of the Hugh Nisbet Building, this new supported study and learning environment is currently on it’s way from this…


to this…


Due to open in September 2016, the space will complement and supplement the Cameron Smail Library and provide: –

  • State-of-the-art digital learning and study facilities
  • Over 200 seats offering a variety and choice of learning and study settings
  • Collaboration and communication technologies, including screens which can be shared amongst users supporting a range of digital sources
  • Mixed study, with particular focus on collaborative learning facilities
  • A convenient central, accessible location
  • A support service during core hours

The Learning Commons will be located next to the Elements catering outlet.

BoB upgrade: August 2016

The new Box of Broadcasts went live on 1 August.

Initial improvements include a fresh look, enhanced video quality and more powerful searching capabilities.


BoB is being upgraded throughout August and there will be limited content and functionality available during this period.

From September 2016, when the upgrade is complete, improvements will include: –

  • A platform working across desktop, iOS and Android devices
  • Media records based on our TRILT metadata, supporting more powerful searching capabilities
  • Better programme coverage and a permanent archive of all broadcast content from nine channels: BBC1 London / BBC2 / BBC4 / ITV London / Channel 4 / More4 / Channel 5 / BBC Radio 4 / BBC Radio 4 Extra
  • Better thumbnail previews on search results
  • Preview clips before saving
  • Label your own clips
  • Personalised email alerts when programmes are ready to view
  • More detailed citation data

BoB apologise for any inconvenience caused during the upgrade period.

See BoB for more  for more information.

Using Discovery

Returning students will notice that the interface used for searching for library resources has changed.

Not only has the interface changed, but you can now search through all our library resources from one place.

How to sign in

  1. Go to Discovery
  2. Click Sign in – top right hand corner
  3. Click Heriot-Watt staff & students
  4. Enter your HWU Username and password (same ones that you use for Vision)
  5. Click Login

User Guides

To help you get started see the user guides on our webpages:

How do I get help?

Ask at the Service Desk in your campus library or contact us by email or phone – see Contact/Visit Us

Information Services Quiz Winner!

We were delighted to host a visit from the 3rd cohort of pre-sessional students in July. The visit was designed to help the students find out about the  library and IT resources and the services they will use in their studies.  This was followed by a quiz with one lucky winner chosen from the correct entries.  Congratulations Benjamin!


Getting ready for resits?

It’s August – so it’s resit month!

You might like to check out some of our exam and revision preparation tips in earlier blog posts –  Resits? Don’t panic.., Exam prep reminders and our tips for creating a revision timetable – to help you get yourself ready for the next few weeks.

The Edinburgh Campus Library will remain open until 8pm Monday – Thursday for the summer revision and resit period.  For all our opening times see Library opening hours

Our Effective Learning Advisor is available if you need help with your revision strategies – see Study Support for contact details, and Revision & exams for tips and links to other support services across the university.

New! Vision Power Hour

A new Vision topic has just been added to the summer Power Hour programme.

Vision: Preparing a course for Semester 1 2016/17

This hands on session will focus on key tasks to prepare your Vision course for the start of the year.

After this session you will be able to:

  • Highlight course goals and objectives
  • Enhance content presentation
  • Update course content


  • Wednesday 31 August from  1000 – 1100
  • Friday 16 September from 1400 – 1500


Teaching room in the Edinburgh campus library.

Book your place

You can book your place on a workshop at

Places are limited to 10 delegates per session.

Summer Power Hour Programme

There are still a few spaces on some of the August Power Hours already advertised.

  • Introduction to Office 365
  • Introduction to OneDrive
  • EndNote
  • Discovery

Full details at Power Hours

Network upgrades: July 2016

As part of a major project to improve the design, performance and resilience of the University data network, Information Services will be carrying out essential upgrade work during July 2016.

These upgrades will necessitate short periods of down time and some at risk periods, but every effort will be made to minimise any disruption to IT services.

The upgrades scheduled will affect services at the following dates/times (Check your local time here)

If you have any queries or require further information about this work please contact the IS Helpdesk at

Academic staff – call for reading lists…

Stack of Library BooksReading lists for items for the start of semester 1 should be received by 22nd July 2016.

This will allow time for us to check stock and order additional or new titles as required.

Books on reading lists

Send your reading lists to with the following information:

  • Title of course
  • Details of the items needed (e.g. author, title, ISBN, publisher, year, edition)
  • Number of expected students
  • If an item is a key or core text
  • Item(s) to be placed on the 3 hour loan system
  • If there is a reason to provide a print rather than an eBook copy as we will be checking all requests for eBook availability

Please note that if you also need copies of titles to be available at the Dubai and/or Malaysia campuses please contact their libraries directly as they will be placing their own orders for stock. They can be contacted at and respectively.

Items on reading lists can also be requested using the Book request form at Suggest a book (the form may need to be opened in a new window depending on the browser used). Select yes from the drop down menu at the first question Is this book on a reading list?

Items to support wider reading

To request items to support student’s wider reading for research, dissertations, theses, projects etc again use the Book request form at Suggest a book and select no from the drop down menu at the first question Is this book on a reading list?. These items are automatically forwarded to your Library Representative for approval and will not be purchased until he or she has approved them.

Requests for items required for the start of semester should be received by 22nd July 2016 – requests received after this date cannot be guaranteed for the start of semester.

If you have any questions please contact Ellen Peacock, Aquisitions & Metadata Manager ( Ext 3573)


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