EXCLUSIVE: Laidlaw Library opens doors

The Gryphon gained exclusive access to the new multi-million pound Laidlaw Library, which will open for the first time on Wednesday.

The estimated £26m investment boasts nearly a thousand study spaces, innovative technology and a roof garden with beehives and solar panels.


The modern interior design includes a mixture of wood and metal surfaces, quirky chairs and mood lighting.

Group work stations with smart screens allow students to view content from their own devices, and draw and make notes using smart pens.


The new library will be open 24 hours during exam periods in the future.

The upper floors of the Laidlaw Library will be mainly silent study areas, with group study space increasing on the lower floors.


Sound-dampening materials have also been installed to minimise noise.

Student artwork is displayed on the walls and glass, and a video wall at the building’s entrance will display student work.


With emphasis on group study, private rooms can be booked in advance via an online system.

In a bid to reduce environmental impact, the library has a green roof and solar panels which will generate a portion of its electricity consumption.


Staff will start moving books into the new library after exam season. Eventually, core texts from all courses and all High Demand items will be housed in the Laidlaw.

The move marks the beginning of two-and-a-half year project to refurbish the Edward Boyle library, with half the building being out of action for the next two academic years.


Building work for the new library began in summer 2013 in a bid to relieve pressure on the University’s other libraries during exam periods.

The Laidlaw Library’s name recognises a £9m donation to the project from Lord Irvine Laidlaw.

Click here for a timetable of the library’s opening hours.

Jessica Murray

Images courtesy of Erika Sykes

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