Further information

askUWA - current students/staff

We're transforming our libraries to provide more interactive, flexible and collaborative spaces and better meet the needs of the UWA community.

The following refurbishment projects are in progress or recently completed:

This page will be updated to show progress on refurbishment projects which are underway. 

Law Library Foyer Refurbishment

The University Library together with UWA Law School is pleased to announce a refurbishment of the Law Library Foyer will take place from April to August 2017.

This refurbishment, timed to be delivered in celebration of the Law School’s 90th birthday, will deliver revitalised collaborative study space aimed at meeting the needs of the Law School’s postgraduate cohort. Group study spaces, informal study spaces and conversation areas will be created, increasing the seating available in the library by around 15% and providing a ‘hub’ for law students. High quality design, furniture and fittings will ensure the learning space is comfortable, flexible and enables use of technology. This refurbishment will also improve noise management on the ground floor and condense the space required by library staff.

UWA’s Law Building, including the Law Library, is over 50 years old. It opened in 1966 and was designed by architect Gus Ferguson who received a Royal Australian Institute of Architects Bronze Medal for the building in 1969 and, subsequently, an Australian Institute of Architects 25 Year Award for Enduring Architecture in 2010, recognising the significance of his design of the building.  

UWA Law School has undergone significant change since the design of their building, and have transitioned to a fully postgraduate program, with the Juris Doctor and nine new postgraduate coursework programs introduced since 2012. Over the same period, the nature of academic libraries has significantly changed, and the increased availability of online legal information has created opportunities in the Law Library to repurpose space previously required for the law collection into student-focussed learning space.

The refurbishment is being designed by Ferguson Architects, ensuring enduring respect for the original design and vision for this building. UWA Campus Management is managing the project.

Campus Management will provide ongoing project updates.

Reid Library Refurbishment

A major refurbishment project was completed in the Reid Library in late 2016.

Photo by Belinda IrelandAttracting students from all UWA Faculties, the Reid Library is one of the busiest UWA student buildings on campus, and receives over 1 million visits annually. The Library opens 24 hours during the busiest periods in the academic year.

The refurbishment project carried out in 2015/2016 aimed to respond directly to student requests for more collaborative learning spaces in the libraries and the refurbishment has increased the number of student spaces for collaborative and informal learning from 350 to 700. It has also delivered significant improvements to the facilities, technology and services offered to students, including upgraded bathrooms, access to wifi and power, and a new café.

The nature of academic libraries has changed dramatically since Reid Library was built. An increase in the use and availability of online information to support education and research has resulted in a 70% decline in the use of the print collections in the University’s libraries since 2001. In this refurbishment, Library space once required to process and house print collections was repurposed as informal and collaborative learning spaces, enriched with technology, to support learning and a world-class student experience.

Photo by Peter BennettsPhoto by Peter Bennetts

The project ran from November 2015 - September 2016 and delivers an exciting design by Schin Architects. The ground floor of the Reid Library has become open, light, and airy, making the most of our beautiful setting on campus and delivering innovative and future-focused learning spaces to a greater number of students.

Photo by Peter BennettsPhoto by Peter Bennetts

The refurbished ground floor incorporates the following elements:

  • The new Elsey Entrance off Saw Promenade
  • A range of collaborative learning spaces to meet different learning styles
  • High quality, comfortable and interesting furnishings
  • The Hemsley Learning Suite for interactive tutorial style teaching for up to 60 students which can also be booked and used by students when not being used for teaching
  • Relocation of the disability access room from the first floor to the ground floor of the Library as the Dickinson Resource Room, to improve accessibility
  • A quality café, the Quobba Gnarning Café which offers a variety of catering options when the library is open 24 hours
  • A dedicated space for WriteSmart (a daily help service for students delivered collaboratively by Student Services and the Library)
  • Full refurbishment including new carpet and paint
  • Increased wifi capacity, powerpoints and locker space
  • Increased and upgraded bathroom facilities

Godroo/Goodamiorup/Gurndanulup/Matilda Bay

The University Library hosted local artist, Matthew McAlpine as Artist in Residence in September 2016 to celebrate the opening of the refurbished Reid Library Ground Floor.

In August 2016, the University Library, in conjunction with the UWA Cultural Precinct, invited five artists to imagine how they would transform a wall inside the main entrance to the Reid Library into a piece of art. The UWA community was then invited to vote for their favourite submission. Matthew’s maquette, Godroo/Goodamiorup/Gurndanulup/Matilda Bay was chosen as the most popular idea by students, staff, alumni and visitors and he was invited to transform his idea into a mural on the Reid Library Ground Floor. 

Matthew, a Perth-based artist whose practice explores the intersection of materiality, place and history, explains that Godroo/Goodamiorup/Gurndanulup/Matilda Bay explores ‘the complexity of landscape in Australia, prompting the viewer to consider the land we are standing on and it's deep, rich and complex history.’

Photo by Belinda IrelandPhoto by Belinda Ireland


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Medical and Dental Library Refurbishment

Located on the QE11 Medical Campus (and adjacent to the Harry Perkins Institute and to the new Children’s Hospital), the UWA Medical and Dental Library provides services to staff and students in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, students from the Oral Health Centre of Western Australia (OHCWA), UWA students and staff from other faculties, and medical staff at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and other research institutes. At the time of its official opening in April 2002, the Medical and Dental Library was recognised as holding the largest medical and dental collection in Western Australia.

While the University of Western Australia still offers a very significant collection, the nature of academic libraries has changed dramatically and the Medical, Dental and Health Sciences collection is now largely available and utilised heavily in electronic format. Library space once required to house print collections can be repurposed for high quality education and learning facilities.

The Medical and Dental Library refurbishment project will run from November 2016 – September 2017 and will transform and repurpose the Library to better meet the needs of future, current and past UWA students, the Faculty, researchers and the community.

The design by Hames Sharley Architects will provide a strong strategic presence for UWA on the QEII Medical Centre campus, innovative spaces and facilities, and a home location for the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

The refurbished Medical and Dental Library will incorporate the following elements:

•    A high quality education and learning environment
•    Increased dedicated learning spaces for medical education
•    Modern sophisticated e-Learning Suites
•    Computer training facilities
•    Revitalised library spaces including collaborative learning areas, bookable meeting spaces and a more focused collection of high use print books and journals
•    Community engagement spaces including an Alumni Lounge
•    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences staff accommodation including the Dean’s Office, Student Services and other support services

Campus Management will provide ongoing project updates.

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Medical and Dental Library Closure, 23 December 2016 - September 2017

Access to Collections and Services

The Medical and Dental Library will close at 12pm, 23 December 2016, and will remain closed until the refurbishments are completed around September 2017. Although the building will be closed, alternative arrangements are in place to access collections and services.

Borrowing items from the Medical and Dental Library collection

Items from the Medical and Dental Library collection have been relocated to the Third Floor of the Barry J Marshall Library or to offsite storage. OneSearch has been updated to show new locations. Staff and students can request items from the Medical and Dental Library Collection by signing in to OneSearch to see the delivery options available.

Relocation of staff and services

Medical and Dental Library staff and support services will relocate to the EDFAA Library in the week beginning 9 January 2017, as it is the closest in proximity to the existing Medical Library, the QEII campus and the School of Population Health. Extra desks and workstations are being accommodated in the EDFAA Library to increase the student seating and studying capacity, and the EDFAA Library opening hours have been extended, opening at 7:30am from 16 January 2017.

High Demand Collection

2017 High Demand items for units in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences will be available in the EDFAA Library High Demand Collection.

Get It Document Delivery Requests

From Monday 19 December 2016, the Medical and Dental Library will no longer appear as a 'pick-up location' for Get It Document Delivery requests (via OneSearch). You will need to choose another library (or for staff, your work e-mail address) as your pick-up location.

Book Returns

The Medical and Dental Library's returns chute will be temporarily unavailable from 12pm, 23 December 2017, until the completion of the refurbishment around September 2017. During this period, items can be returned to the EDFAA Library or one of the other UWA libraries.

Contacting the Medical and Dental Library
  • The Library's e-mail address genmed-lib@uwa.edu.au will remain active in 2017 and will be checked daily.
  • Medical and Dental Library staff can be contacted at the EDFAA Library on (+61 8) 6488 1961.
  • All queries to askUWA will also be answered promptly.
  • Thank you for your support and patience as we improve facilities in the University Library.