Making the Most of the Space #edincampuslib

With revision a top priority this week and exams starting next week it is important to ‘Make the Most of the Space’ in the Library at our Edinburgh Campus.

Monitoring 1Monitoring2

Opening hours – Easter/Semester 2 break #edincampuslib

We are currently in the Semester 2 break which lasts until 21st April and includes the Easter weekend.
easter semester break

Once the break is over, exams start from 24th April until 19th May which is the end of semester.

During this time the Edinburgh Campus library will remain open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Staff will be available to answer enquiries and provide help and support between 8:30am – 8:30pm Monday – Friday and 10:00am – 8:15pm at weekends.

The Learning Commons will be open Monday to Friday during the Semester break  apart from the Easter weekend (Friday 14th – Monday 17th April inclusive) when it will be unavailable for use due to building closure days.

If you require any more information, please check the Information Services webpages or contact us 

The library is getting a huge facelift

LibFeb25This summer we will start work on a £6m library refurbishment project for the Cameron Smail Library (Edinburgh campus).  This is something that we are all really excited about, as the refurbishment will transform the library into a modern, flexible and comfortable environment for everyone that uses it. Staff, students and consultants have worked together to agree on the design for the space, and this huge investment by the university demonstrates our commitment to working with you to improve your experience at Heriot-Watt University.

The Learning Commons (which we think of as the Library’s fifth floor) opened in September 2016. This was our test bed for the design of our learning spaces allowing us to try out new layouts and facilities.  It provided 200 study spaces in a variety of configurations, and we’ll be applying lessons learned from this to inform the type and style of spaces created in the refurbished library building.

The project will run for 2 years, and will result in more study spaces (up to over 1000 from the current 825), an improved working environment with a variety of collaborative study spaces, double the number of accessible study rooms and improved layout of library stock. There will also be more desk space, more space between work areas, more PC workstations and many other improvements to the building itself to help future proof it.

The problem is that we’re not going to manage to do all this without you noticing something is going on!  The library will remain open throughout the project, but there will be times when there is restricted access to areas, noise and some disruption.  We will try to keep this to a minimum, and plan the more intrusive work for times when the library is quieter.

The Learning Commons, the refurbished study space in the Post Graduate Centre (due September 2017) providing nearly 100 study spaces for all students (not just PGs) and several other study spaces will be available across campus – see Study Spaces.

We’ll keep you informed about what’s due to happen when and let you know how things are going as the project progresses.  More information about the refurbishment will be released over the coming weeks – but we thought we’d give you a “sneak preview” so you know what’s coming soon!

This month some pre-project survey work will take place – see Building Survey Works – Cameron Smail Library for full details.

Building survey works – Cameron Smail Library

In preparation for the £6M 2 year refurbishment of the Cameron Smail Library, areas must be briefly closed off for surveys between 14th and 23rd February (for more information on the refurbishment see The library is getting a huge facelift)

The library will be open at all times, however, each floor will either have limited access or be closed at some time – details below.


Study spaces are available as normal across the rest of the campus – in the Learning Commons, the top floor of the Post Graduate Centre and James Watt Centre.  See Study Spaces for full details.

If you have any queries regarding access to the library building during this time please speak to our staff at the Customer Service Desk.

Staff ID cards

Staff ID cards can be printed for staff at the Edinburgh Campus from the Library Service Desk between 9.00am and 11.00am Monday to Friday and between 10.00am and 12.00 noon at weekends.  Staff ID cards enable you to borrow and return books in the library, use the printers and also can be set up by your dept for access to buildings.

In order to have a card printed, you need to fill out a staff registration form and have your photo taken for the card which will then be printed out.  Documentation is also needed to confirm that you are employed by the university e.g. contract letter, payslip.
All details of the staff registration form must be completed including Employee Number which is essential.

It is also possible to send details for a staff ID card in advance as this will save time and be easier and more convenient for you.

You will need to provide the following:

  1. A photo
    Similar to a passport photo so clearly identifiable and good quality and against a light, plain background
    Saved as a JPEG
  2. A completed Staff Registration Form (or all of the information required for the Staff Registration Form) (see below)

Email the photo as an attachment with the form / form details to

  • Once we have checked the details, a card will be printed for you and we will contact you by email to let you know that the card is ready to pick up from the Service Desk in the library.
  • Please collect between 9.00am-11.00am Monday to Friday (or 10.00am to 12.00pm Saturday and Sunday) whenever possible.
  • You will need to bring documentation to confirm that you are a member of staff at Heriot-Watt University e.g. contract letter, payslip
Staff Registration Form for ID card
Title (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Prof, Dr)
First Name
Last Name
Employee Number
Job Title
Email address ( *
Barcode number
(if you have already have/had a library card / staff ID card)
Room number, Building name, School
Contract (permanent, fixed term with date)


Seats and food and drink in the Library #edincampuslib

The Library at our Edinburgh Campus is very busy at the moment due to the revision and exam period.  On an average day we have a footfall of over 3,000 people coming into the library building and an occupancy of over 600 in the middle of the day.
Therefore we have to ‘make the most of the space’ in order that all students who need to study can do so in a suitable environment. This can be done by avoiding leaving unattended items at study tables as this stops other students from being able to use the space.  Also making sure that the space is kept clean and tidy by putting rubbish in bins and only eating food on the main entrance floor (floor 1 ) of the library.  Drinks can be taken to other floors to consume while studying, but food should be eaten in the cafe area.
We appreciate your help with this, it does make a difference to everyone.


Power Hours Workshops week commencing 28th November

The following workshops will be held week commencing 28 November in the Edinburgh Campus Library (Top Floor):

Copyright for Learning & Teaching
Wed 30 Nov  14:15-15:45
All workshop are now bookable at
Excel Pivot Tables: Power Bite
Thurs 1 Dec  12:30-13:00
All workshop are now bookable at

The workshops are held in the Anderson Room or the Library Teaching Room, Edinburgh Campus Library (top floor). Signs in the Library will direct you to the appropriate room.

More information on these sessions and other sessions in the Power Hours Workshops programme is available online. Learning materials used in the workshops are also available in Vision / Organisations / Power Hours Workshops

See our website for further skills development opportunities.

The Learning Commons – group study rooms

The Learning Commons has been open for 8 weeks now and is proving very popular.
There are a variety of different social and learning spaces including tables with PCs.


The group study rooms are now available for use. They can be booked via the Information Services website room booking page for 2 hours in between 11.15 – 16.15.  (Outside of these hours the rooms can be used on a first come first served basis).

There is a Service Desk at the Learning Commons which is staffed in between 11.00 – 16.00 each day Monday – Friday.  You can ask any sort of questions that you would ask at the Service Desk at the library including IT enquiries.


Electrical shut down – Edinburgh Campus Library

Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th October – 7:00 am

All electrical power in the Edinburgh Campus Library building will be switched off on Monday 3 October and Tuesday 4 October to enable work to take place on the 11kV/400V supply transformer that serves the Library building.

The shut-down will happen at 7:00 am for approximately 10 minutes

You are welcome to stay in the building during this brief power outage, but note that IT WILL BE DARK, with only the emergency lighting in place.

If you are in the library at this time please remain seated if at all possible, and take great care if you do need to move around.

NB Please ensure that you save your work and log-off from any University PC for the duration.  Neither the elevators nor the wifi service will be available during this time.

A member of Information Services staff will be on hand from 6.30am if you have any queries.

1000s of FREE downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, magazines & newspapers #edincampuslib

Did you know that you could borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers for free from Edinburgh Public Libraries?

Their electronic services librarians will be in Heriot Watt Edinburgh Campus Library on Thursday 22nd September from 11am-3pm to hand out free library membership cards which give you instant online access to:

OverDrive – thousands of fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks from fantastic authors such as George RR Martin; Bill Bryson; Lee Child; Bryan Cox; Hilary Mantel; Stuart MacBride and Stephen Hawking.

Zinio – over a hundred popular magazines to download and keep. Includes New Scientist; Popular Science; Apple Magazine; PC Format; Forbes; Newsweek; Total Film; Men’s Fitness; HELLO!; BBC Good Food; Esquire; Cosmopolitan etc.

OneClickdigital & BorrowBox – hundreds of quality audiobooks to download.

PressDisplay – over 4000 worldwide newspapers and magazines to read online before they’ve even hit the newsagents! Over 70 UK local and national newspapers available including the Scotsman and over 100 UK magazines.

Stop by and pick up a membership card and instruction leaflets on how you can use these services on your computer, tablet or phone.