Quick tour of new layout in Main Library


We have been rearranging our Library facilities to ensure Covid-19 safety is maintained for all.  

This involves carefully following the Scottish Government guidance and changing the operation and design of the Library services to minimise the opportunity for the spread of the Covid-19 virus, while permitting the use of study desks, PCs and Library resources. This is not an easy compromise, but we are doing everything we can within the guidance to ensure access.  

All users of the Library facilities will be required to follow the arrangements outlined below. This approach has been developed in discussion with students, and we can continue to receive feedback and develop the approaches, while ensuring safety for all.   

Opening dates 

Currently all of our libraries will be open from 22 September 2020 except DJCAD Library, which opens Monday 28 September 2020.

  • Libraries, Archives and Museums are accessible before this date for research purposes on an appointment basis  

  • Medical Library open at Ninewells to Medical and Nursing students using activated swipe card access  

  • Fife Campus Library in Kirkcaldy opening from 14 September 2020  

  • Main Library re-opens to students on campus - 22 September 2020  

  • DJCAD Library re-opens to students on campus - 28 September 2020  


Face coverings and Test & Trace requirements 

Face coverings must be worn at all times in student areas, unless you are exempt in line with Scottish Government guidelines. This also applies to staff.  

Entry to all Libraries will require the scanning of your student card at the entrance for Government Test and Protect obligations. This is compulsory.  

Desk booking system in place for all study places in Main Library 

From 5 October onwards, a desk booking system will be in place in the Main Library from 7.30am to 11pm.  

Study desks may be booked for a maximum of 4 hours per student per day, up to two weeks in advance.  Study desks can be booked using the new Seats system in LibCal. Links to this are available on the Library website and the University mobile app.  

The Main Library will remain open until 2:30 am and booking is not required from 11 pm to 2.30 am. 

Capacity levels 

We need to maintain 2-metre (six feet) physical distancing throughout the libraries. This means a reduced number of desks are available, around 30% of our normal. 

Occupancy levels are: 

  • Main Library – 520 desks 

  • Ninewells Library – 92 desks 

  • DJCAD Library – 28 desks 

  • FiFe Campus Library – 16 desks.  

In the Main Library 126 desks are available with University PCs, and we are working with IT to increase this to 250 PCs. Five stand-up PCs are available for a maximum of 10 minutes without a booking, in Ground Floor area of the Main Library. 

The majority of group work will need to occur online as we cannot accommodate this within the libraries at this time. No separate rooms are available for booking. 

In general facilities are in Quiet study mode (limited quiet conversations only).  


Printers are operating as normal in the Main Library.  You need to have credit on your Pay2Print account before you can print using a Pay2Print printer.  More information on printing.


Sanitisation facilities are provided to enable the spraying and wipe down of keyboards, mice and desks. Please complete this before and after your study session.  

An option to self-check forehead temperature is provided at Main Library entrance.  

Food and Drink 

Drinks (hot and cold) may be consumed throughout the Main Library, food may only be consumed in the Café.   

The DUSA Café in the Library will be open for takeaway and limited service for Café tables only. Drinks may be taken into all Main Library areas.  

Books and Resource Access  

Students with a Study Desk booking may browse the shelves and take books to study desks.  

Books are not to be returned to shelves, but must be placed in quarantine bins provided. They will be safely returned to shelves in 4 days. With this in mind, please consider if you really need a book before removing it from the shelves. Physical copies of current periodical publications will be removed. 

Students may visit Libraries to access shelves and resources directly, and then self-issue books and leave the Library.  

Click and Collect service is available online for those who require resources and can be uplifted near the Library entrance. Please use the normal Library reservation system.  

Service Desks 

Student direct contact with staff is minimised using remote systems for entrance and enquiries as far as possible. This is to protect both students and staff. When staff are in attendance at service desks, screens are provided to minimise direct contact. 

Incident management plans and Library closure plans have been prepared in case of any incidents or further restrictions being put in place.  

Respect for all 

Our libraries are among the main hubs of student activity on our campuses. We appreciate there will be significant demand for our services, and we will do all we can to meet your needs. However, we must ask that all users of the libraries show patience and follow the guidelines which have been in place for the health and safety of all. 

The procedures above must be followed or the Library physical services may face further restrictions. As soon as is safe to do so, and in line with public health advice, we will seek to increase capacity and available services.   

Thank you 

Dr Richard Parsons 

University Librarian