What’s happening with the Library refurbishment #edincampuslib

The HWU Edinburgh Campus Library refurbished project is progressing well.
An overview of the project details can be found at how we are  ‘Transforming Your Library’  
We will keep you updated through these blog posts and through our social media channels.  There will be news of the exciting new developments and we will keep you updated as to which spaces and resources are available in the Library during the enabling and refurbishing works.

What is happening when?
The Ground Floor refurbishment work is completed.  There are new study tables and chairs available for silent study. (drinks can be taken into the area, but food is not allowed).
There are journals and theses on the shelves and also, in 2019 some of the book collection will be located here.

The Main Entrance of the Library and the Service Desk have been refurbished and are fully operational.  The entrance to the Library has been improved with the installation of the access gates (turnstiles) which require an ID card for entry by students and staff and visitors.  The gate’s software is still operating in a local mode at present but we are working hard to connect up the various software systems to personalise the access to HWU ID cards.


The other half of Floor 1 of the Library is now complete and provides fantastic study space for students.  There is a mixture of different types of study spaces, some with study tables, some soft seating and study booths.  There are a small number of PCs.
The cafe in the Library building  is also available and the vending machines and water fountain.


Floor 1 finishedFloor 1 finished 2


Phase 4, of the refurbishment has begun which involves Floor 3 of the Library.
All of Floor 3 is closed from the end of October 2018 to the beginning of March 2019. 

Floor 2 will be open as usual for access to the book collection and for silent study space.  Journals are situated on the Ground Floor or in off site storage.
There are some extra study spaces on Floor 2 in what was the Gibson Craig Wing at the west of the building.

Stairs and lifts
Both lifts in the Library go between the Ground Floor, Floor 1 and Floor 2
It is only possible to access the Ground Floor via the lift as the main stairs are closed.
The stairs at each end of the building can be used to go from Floor 1 to Floor 2 and to the Ground Floor in an emergency.

How do I get help if needed?
Ask at the Service Desk at the Edinburgh campus library or contact us by email or phone

Study spaces are available in the Learning Commons 1 and in Learning Commons 2.
Also there are study spaces across campus in various teaching rooms.  


Transforming Your Library

Update 2018

The £6m library refurbishment project for the Cameron Smail Library (Edinburgh campus) commenced in the summer of 2017.  The refurbishment will transform the library into a modern, flexible and comfortable environment for everyone that uses it. Staff, students and consultants worked together to agree on the design for the space, and the huge investment by the university demonstrates the commitment to working with you to improve your experience at Heriot-Watt University.


The Learning Commons which opened in 2016 has been very successful and well used by many students and staff.  It provides 200 study and learning spaces in various configurations and this will inform the type and style of spaces that are to be created in the refurbished library building.


The project is now in the second year of the building programme.  The Ground Floor, main entrance and half of Floor 1 is complete.  The rest of Floor 1 will be complete by November 2018.  When the project is finished, there will be 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 library has remained open throughout the project so far and will continue to do so.  There have been 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 there is  low demand for the library .

The Learning Commons 2, the refurbished study space in the Post Graduate Centre opened in September 2017 and provides 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.