A Strategic Vision for our Library & Learning Spaces

The Cameron Smail Library on the Edinburgh campus was a state-of-the-art development when built in 1974, and served as a model for many other academic libraries in Scotland over the following years.

Forty years on, a building designed primarily for the storage and circulation of paper-based resources is now expected to be a 24×7 study centre, a technology-enhanced learning facility, an advice and teaching hub, a cafĂ© and social space, whilst also housing the staff who procure and make available huge quantities of electronic information alongside traditional printed material.

In 2013-2014, there were an average of 7 book loans per FTE student, compared with 130 electronic journal article downloads and 51 e-Book section requests.

Information Services have been working with academic space consultants Realm-ISD, HWUSU, academic colleagues and Campus Services to prepare a strategic vision for the 21st century library and learning spaces the University requires at its Edinburgh campus. The summary report can be accessed through this link:

HWU-EDI-010-61-150113-Library Vision-C-FINAL

The next step of the journey to realising what we need is to have architects and other specialists prepare an options appraisal for the building and we expect to appoint a suitable firm in the next few weeks.

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  1. IS Update | November 2014 | InformS
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