Trinity College Library

New Library Building

Architectural Brief

(Rendered in a Web version)


1. The New Library Building
2. Trinity College Dublin and its Library

3. Current Library Services

4. The need for a New Library

5. Site for the new building

6. Site context and planning constraints

7. Individual components to be included

8. Environmental Requirements

9. Library Tour

Appendix with some dimensions and references

References and points of reference


1. The New Library Building
The proposed new library development will ensure that the Library and its information provision services continue to be central to the College’s research and learning activities and a leading national and international information resource. The new library will provide additional reader places, additional storage for printed material, but more especially, provide the environment and support systems to enable its users to embrace the burgeoning range of electronic information resources.

Architecturally, the new building must be distinctive in a site of distinguished buildings and must join together two of the busiest College libraries. The combined complex must create a unified library and facilitate the centralising of many library service points, currently dispersed or duplicated in the reading rooms of the Berkeley and Lecky Libraries.

The specification is to be state-of-the-art, but with flexibility to enable the Library to exploit the rapid developments in electronic information provision, and to support developments in teaching and research.

The key needs to be addressed by the new library development are: 


2. Trinity College Dublin and its Library
Trinity College Dublin is Ireland's oldest and most prestigious university, with a rich tradition of excellence in education and research extending back over four centuries since its foundation by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. Trinity's staff and alumni have made a huge contribution both to the advancement of European civilization and to our knowledge and experience of the world about us. Among the most notable Trinity figures are Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett in the arts; William Rowan Hamilton, Ernest Walton and Denis Burkitt in the sciences and, in politics and public life, Edmund Burke, Theobald Wolfe Tone and Bishop George Berkeley.

2.2.1 The Old Library, with its magnificent Long Room, completed in 1732 and still one of the most beautiful and imposing library structures to be found anywhere in the world. The Old Library is now a major visitor centre, attracting huge numbers of tourists anxious to see the Book of Kells and other treasures, as well as housing the Departments of Early Printed Books and of Manuscripts, both of which are heavily used by scholars, and the Conservation Laboratory. Early Printed Books and Manuscripts will remain in the Old Library but the Conservation Laboratory will, for safety reasons, require relocation to the new building complex. Given the increasing demand for display space for the Library's treasures and for associated revenue generating activities, it will be necessary to consider if the closed colonnade area on the ground floor at the West End of the building can be opened for public use rather than continuing as a high density book storage area. This could probably be achieved only through the provision of a secure, environmentally controlled space in the new building complex. 

2.2.2 The 1937 Reading Room. This attractive, octagonal building at the West End of Fellows Square was the College's first new purpose-built Library for 200 years. After closure as a science library on completion of the Hamilton Library in 1992 it was reopened as an undergraduate library for the arts and social sciences in 1994 because of growing pressure for improved library facilities. It will be retained as a library after completion of the new building and should be considered as part of the new complex in that it might house a discrete collection such as Law or an activity such as Conservation.

 2.2.3 The Berkeley Library (1967) is the principal modern, purpose built Library housing all central processing, service and management activities. It is widely regarded as a superb example of modern architecture but suffers from internal inflexibility in that the integral nature of much of the furnishing makes significant remodelling to meet changing information needs both difficult and expensive.

 2.2.4 The Lecky Library (1978) occupies the two lower floors of the Arts Building and is linked physically to the Berkeley by an underground tunnel which was opened to users in the autumn of 1995. It provides large, open spaces and a pleasant airy environment which is popular with students. However, noise levels are high and complaints are too frequent. 

The Berkeley and Lecky Libraries between them house research and undergraduate collections in the Arts and Social Sciences. It is intended that they should function as a single unit with the new building and that the opportunity should be taken, in the expanded complex, to consider how best the totality of space should be used.

 2.2.5 The Hamilton Library (1992). This is the most recently completed campus library but its physical separation, in the Science area at the East End of campus, means that it will remain as a separate unit. Growth in the size of the College means that it is already inadequate to meet all Science and Engineering needs so that its primary future role will be as an undergraduate library. Some research provision for science and, probably, engineering will be required in the new complex.

 2.2.6 Map Library. The building housing the map collection dates from 1860 but has been used as a map library only since 1988. Ideally maps would be relocated into the new complex but the space required to do so would prevent the building from achieving its primary objectives.

 Beyond the College's own use of its libraries, there are about 11,000 external users of its legal deposit and other research holdings. These external users, who lack the time to familiarise themselves with the Library’s organisation, impose a requirement for buildings which are well signposted and easy to use. Clear and effective layouts of space, furnishings and stock will be essential.


2.3 Library Operations
The Library has a staff of over 140, with 45 professional posts (i.e. posts requiring graduate academic qualifications and postgraduate professional training). Under the Librarian and Deputy Librarian it is organised with the following divisions, each directed by a Keeper.

 2.3.1 Readers Services - responsible for all day to day service provision except in the Departments of Early Printed Books and Manuscripts. 

2.3.2. Technical Services - responsible for the acquisition, cataloguing and processing of stock, including material obtained by legal deposit, and for a range of additional services such as photographic reproduction and microfilming.

 2.3.3 Early Printed Books and Manuscripts - separate departments, each with its own Keeper and a small number of highly trained staff. Both departments are known internationally for the quality of their holdings, their exhibition work and the scholarship of their staff.

 2.3.4 Conservation - The Director of the Laboratory has Keeper status and he and his staff provide Ireland's most important library conservation activity. The Laboratory's work is internationally recognised.

 2.3.5 Systems - responsible both for local day to day support and for strategic developments in information technology throughout the Library.

 In addition to these divisions, the Library offers a fee-based external information service, at present based in the Berkeley Library but needing improved accommodation in the new complex. It also maintains an extensive exhibition and visitor services programme and a successful shop in the Old Library. Combined turnover from the two activities for 1995-6 was well over £2m.


 3. Current Library Services

University Library: As a university it serves the needs of the College’s undergraduate and postgraduate students and of the academic staff.

Research Library: Trinity College Library is renowned as a research library of international repute and contains much rare material of interest to scholars from all parts of the world.

Information Service: Based on its comprehensive collections, the Library provides an information service to government departments, to research organisations and to technical, industrial and commercial bodies within Ireland. In the year 1994-95, the library serviced 104 institutional clients yielding income of IR£55,000.

In addition to its role as information provider, the heritage role of Trinity College Library is of national importance. As a cultural treasury of manuscripts – including the world-famous Book of Kells – early printed and antiquarian books and Irish literary material the library is a unique national asset and this is reflected in its position as the most popular visitor attraction in Ireland.

The Library has a staff of about 140, of which 45 posts are at professional grades. There are two major functional divisions:

Readers’ Services
Technical Services

Two smaller specialist departments
Early Printed Books

In addition the College Library manages the following:
Systems Office, directing the library’s development of information technology.
Conservation Laboratory, internationally recognised for the quality of its work.

Commercial ventures:
Library Shop and Visitor Services: The Colonnades Exhibition area. The projected turnover of the library shop for the current year is over IR1m.

3.2 Operational Locations
The Library’s activities in information provision are concentrated in six separate buildings.

The Old Library completed in 1972 contains the department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections, the Manuscripts Department and the Conservation Laboratory, as well as the areas open to the public: The Long Room, the Treasury and The Colonnades.

The Berkeley Library (1967), a classic of modern design by English architect Paul Koralek contains the main administrative offices and workrooms. Arts and Law reading rooms, periodicals and official publications as well as closed access bookstacks.

The Lecky Library (1978) integrated into the Arts and Social Sciences Buildings (also designed by English architect Paul Koralek), has reading areas for business, economics and social sciences and the remainder of the arts collections.

The 1937 Reading Room houses undergraduate lending books, a reading room and the Library Systems offices.

The Hamilton Library (1992) provides reading rooms and open access collections for the faculties of Science, Engineering and Systems Sciences and Health Sciences.

The Map Library is located at the East End of the campus and houses the College’s extensive collection of antiquarian and contemporary cartographic material.

There is a specialist medical library, the John Stearne Library at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences at St. James’s Hospital and a small specialist branch library at the School of Occupational Therapy in Dun Laoghaire.

Lesser-used material is stored off-site in the Santry Book Repository located in the northern suburbs of Dublin and is transported as required to the campus libraries twice daily.

3.3 Information Technology
The Library has always been committed to using the best available technology to support its services to users. Like the other great libraries of the time, Trinity produced a Printed Catalogue in 1872, over 100 years ago. More recently, the Library was a leader among the world’s libraries in adopting the MARC (Machine-Readable Catalogue) format in 1968 for routine processing and catalogue production.

 Following participation in the College’s Information Systems Policy Development Working Party of 1995, the Library installed and implemented the Geac Advance system in October 1996 for its main operations and management functions. 

The Geac system’s catalogue provides access to about three-quarters of the Library’s total book and periodical collections of 4 million volumes. The system handles all student and staff loans (500,000 transactions p.a.).

 The Geac Advance system is central to the Library’s service provision; all staff members use a computer workstation in their daily work. Over 100,000 new bibliographic records are added to the system each year, mirroring acquisitions; there are no processing backlogs. Electronic mail is essential and is the ubiquitous method of communication with colleagues within the College and internationally. 

Currently there are over 100 terminals or workstations installed in the Library for sole or primary use of Geac functions; they are constantly being upgraded and their number added to so as to take advantage of increased desk-top processing power.

 The central system is regularly expanded to take account of growth by new acquisitions and increases in loan activities. The Geac system is the fourth central system installed by the Library since 1968. The Geac system provides international access to the Library’s resources as it is connected to the Internet and the catalogue is available from the Library’s Home Page on the World Wide Web.

 The coverage of the catalogue is being extended ‘backwards’ by the activities of the Library’s Stella Retrospective Cataloguing Project which will add over 300,000 records to the catalogue during 1997. It is planned to provide network access to an electronic version of the Printed Catalogue of 1872 within twelve months too.

 As well as the Geac Advance system, the Library supports about 10 specialised workstations in reading rooms for over 50 CD-ROM databases and has arranged for the most heavily-used databases to be available generally on College terminals anywhere over the network.


4. The need for a New Library
There are four principal needs to be met in the new Library building:


 5. Site for the new building
The new building will form part of the existing complex of library buildings surrounding Fellows’ Square. To enable the library to operate with a single main entrance, the new building will almost certainly be linked (either under or over ground) to the Berkeley Library and the Lecky Library. It may also be linked to the Old Library and the 1937 Reading Room. Initially it was envisaged that the new building be constructed on the grassed and tree planted space at the south of the Berkeley Library. This concept has changed recently to incorporate the possibility of locating the new building in Fellows’ Square where it might take the form of a low level, partly underground structure, linked to the four existing library buildings. This concept also includes the possibility of some form of construction on the site to the south of the Berkeley Library that could provide a direct part-underground link from Nassau Street to the Old Library. 

6. Site context and planning constraints
See College Development Control Plan 


7. Individual components to be included
The following components should be included in the new building or in an area adjacent in the overall complex. The dimensions referred to in this section and included in the Appendix are best estimates. 

7.1 Reader places
An additional 750 Library places for the College community is a requirement for the new building. These 750 spaces would include the small group study areas mentioned in 4.1.3 (say 50 spaces in total) and the user education areas of 4.4.6. A limited number (say50) extra large spaces for use in studying very large format print materials (e.g. newspapers) or by users with special needs should be included. Within the new complex, it is proposed that a total of 160 carrels for postgraduate students and research workers be provided, an increase of about 80 places. 

All spaces should be wired for IT data and power and need to be adjacent to the main book shelving areas. See the next section – 7.2 for further discussion on this point.

 7.2 Additional open access shelving
Shelving for an additional 360,000 printed volumes on open access is required in the new library complex. The need for doubling the total number of volumes directly available to readers is explained in Section 4.2. To gain most benefit from this increased number of volumes, it is important that readers can move between book shelves and comfortable seating areas quickly. However, significant gains have been made elsewhere by the separation of space between library users and bookstock. The benefits relate primarily to providing a high quality environment for users at the expense of what is essentially a well-controlled warehouse space, with public access, for the bookstock. In essence, this arrangement makes it possible to invest more in the working environment than in storage space.

 Printed materials need a warehouse environment: good humidity and temperature controls. Highest packing density is achieved in regular-shaped architectural spaces. On the other hand, library users (and staff) prefer a slightly warmer environment, but more particularly enjoy asymmetrical and varying architectural space! High quality finishes are more appropriate where people are using the space.

 Printed materials in open access areas are generally arranged in sequences according to subject and the current library system used (Dewey) is designed for this purpose. This allows for browsing (when a particular book is found, the ones near by will treat the same subject, but in a different approach). However, because not all books are the same size and because it is difficult to predict acquisitions in individual subjects, shelving density is always lower than in closed stacks where books can be arranged by size and all new additions are added to the ends of far fewer sequences.

 The shelving in the new building should be in substantial sequences or runs, but can be separated over several floors. The shelving stacks need to be adjustable for book height and allow for gross repositioning over the life time of the building as use changes. Mobile shelving can be considered for some formats.

 7.3 A single main service desk in the general circulation area
A key aim of the facilities provided by the new building is the ability to avoid duplicating services across several counters as at present. Similarly, it is expected that a single focus point for readers to use when they need assistance will itself be a significant boon.

 When a prospective reader approaches the entrance to the new library complex, by whatever route, it is important that there is a clear indication that the visit is to a place of welcome for learning, study and research, and that all assistance to that end is available and offered in a very visible way. 

Close to the outer doors there should be a reception counter so that intending readers who do not have a valid ticket for admittance can be attended to quickly and allowed entrance or redirected to a more appropriate resource.

 It is envisaged that the reception counter will be contiguous with the main inquiry counter that is within and beyond the entrance gates. This arrangement will allow effective use of staff and more particularly be an indication of the continuity of service from the entrance to the user.

 The reception counter will need space for several workstations, and will handle admissions for external readers, general inquiries and general telephone inquiries. It may be appropriate to have a small multiple-line internal telephone exchange equipment installed. This may be the area where security is monitored by video link; such visibility of this activity can act as a deterrent. It is likely that in the absence of anywhere else being available (See section 7.8 below) the reception counter will be the point of contact for material collection and return for users of the Library’s commercial Information Service.

 The entrance hall or lobby and the main circulation area must be large enough to accommodate the traffic generated by all the users. The area needs to be big enough so that there is a ‘decompression’ space for large numbers of students entering together to conclude their conversations before they enter the quieter study zones of the Library. 

The entrance area of the Library will, of necessity, by noisy with a lot of conversation occurring. The area needs to be conducive to such exchange of conversation, but at the same time remote enough and isolated from the quieter, study areas of the building complex.

 Within the central circulation area, there must be clear sign posting to lead users to that area of the building that will support their requirements.

 The main inquiry counter should have provision for at least 8 workstations and a shared printer. It must be possible to close off and secure the counter area when services might be closed or greatly reduced, but the reading room(s) are still available to users (e.g. outside normal hours). Close to the main counter, there must be workspace for managing items requested from the closed access book stores and awaiting collection by users, and special items held for readers on a temporary basis (e.g. vulnerable printed items, materials in particular formats or special requests, etc.). Currently the circulation desks are the interface for inter-library loan requests and materials too. Staff working on the counter will need adjacent office space also.

 7.4 Self-service reserve collection stacks
There is a particular requirement to provide for shelving 10,000 volumes in a special area for items lent for short-term periods only. This is a reserve-room collection and would contain the most heavily-used items that are on student reading lists of required reading. The Lecky and Hamilton Libraries already have such self-service areas, which are very successful. Users enter the collection through a turnstile arrangement and can only leave the area with their selected books past a computer checkout point.

 The self-service special reserve collection stacks should be adjacent to the main circulation counter so that its use can be monitored easily, the collections maintained and refreshed by counter staff and so that readers can have their selections processed for lending quickly.

 7.5 Multi-media centre
A multi-media centre would provide a variety of user workstations in a specialised reading room area and have a service point near by where professional and technical help would be available. A wide variety of different formats would have to be managed and it has been seen that other new libraries often treat this area as a special library within a library, serviced by specially trained staff. A Library Working Party (1995) envisaged a relatively small facility with perhaps 6 - 8 workstations and a counter / office with storage area for c. 5,000 items. It has been mooted that this centre could cater for older technologies such as microforms too. The Library currently has a collection of over 12 microfilm readers and reader-printers dispersed throughout its reading rooms, that might conveniently be brought together for better supervision and maintenance either within or adjacent to a multi-media centre.

 7.6 Self-service photocopying / printing areas
It is proposed that with the high use of IT equipment, printing facilities will be a significant requirement in the new library. It is proposed that printing equipment would most conveniently be located with photocopying machines, and the attendant coin operated dispensing / controlling equipment. Each floor where there are significant numbers of readers, there should be an area set aside for this activity. They will need to be isolated as regards sound from the study areas as they are places for equipment and where readers waiting for access or processing to complete will engage in conversation!

 7.7 Area for user education and staff training
As discussed in 4.4.5 above, there is a great need for convenient facilities available to the Library to provide user education and to keep its own staff informed of latest developments with IT. However, the use of such spaces for this activity would not be continuous, so they must be designed for flexible use. The places must be available to ‘ordinary’ Library users for general library use on a day-to-day basis, but equally, it must be possible to transform them into a suitable and comfortable training environment relatively easily and quickly. It is expected that it will be possible for Library staff to give user education sessions to 25-30 persons at once in the areas and it is possible that the demand (especially at the beginning of terms) will require at least two such areas. Additional, smaller areas seating 6-12 persons would be ideal for staff training for departmental staff and would not disrupt as big a user area. Again, the demand would justify two or more such areas.

 7.8 Information Service Office
The Information Service is a key ‘outreach’ activity of the Library as well as being a source of revenue. Many of the Information Service clients will not need or use the reading rooms but may require consultation with the Service’s staff and there will certainly be a constant delivery and return of material by courier. It is thus seen as desirable that the Information Service Office (currently 3 staff) be visibly adjacent to the entrance area of the main library complex.

 7.9 Provision of specialised workstations
The essential access tool for using the Library will be its catalogue. While all the wired up reader places will offer access to the catalogue system, it would be unrealistic for this to be the only means of access. At least 10 workstations permanently tied to the online catalogue per 300 reader places is required, based on experience to date. These workstations should be clustered to aid their sign-posting and identification. 

Because of licensing arrangements it will almost certainly be necessary to provide specialised workstations for particular information services that cannot be networked freely to readers’ places. This is currently the situation for over 50 databases that are held on CD-ROM for use in the Library reading rooms. It is proposed to have at least 10 additional specialised workstations for this activity. Some will need to be clustered for the same reasons as for clustering the online catalogue workstations, but it will be more appropriate to have some individual machines located close to the areas were the corresponding subject-related printed material is in use.

 These workstations will have to be in addition to the ‘ordinary’ reader places.

 7.10 Machine room and network distribution areas
The Information Systems Services’ Requirements for Installation of a Structured Cabling System identifies the technical specification for wiring runs and closet sizes that are desirable for efficient management of what will be an IT-based building. It is envisaged that details will be reviewed and revised close as possible to installation and commissioning as standards and technical requirements change in this area. The overall consideration must be to allow for flexibility and regular upgrading of the infrastructure.

 A machine room to service network hubs and data distribution equipment close at hand to the main user and support staff base would seem logical in such an IT-based facility.

 7.11 Systems Office
Currently the Systems Office is located in the 1937 Reading Room in the absence of any other suitable location within the Library buildings. It would seem appropriate that it should be re-located within the new library complex so that staff can be on hand to support the increased number of devices in use. If the area is not allocated for other purposes within the new library complex, the current Librarian’s Office suite in the Berkeley Library has been identified as potentially suitable.

 7.12 Conservation Laboratory and Near Bindery Unit
As discussed in Section 4.4.2 above, it is imperative that the Conservation Laboratory be housed in a purpose-built facility, and it would appear that this condition can best be satisfied by including it in the new building proper.

 The specialised equipment used currently will have to be relocated to the new Laboratory and augmented by additional equipment, most particularly IT-based facilities. Briefly, the Conservation Laboratory has requirement for (ideally North-facing) natural light, facilities to use processes requiring water and chemicals; workbenches and light tables of particular design; and specialised equipment.

 It would be desirable to relocate the Near Binding Unit currently located in temporary accommodation under the podium of the Berkeley Library to either the Conservation Laboratory itself, or at least near the new facility. The Conservation Laboratory and Near Binding Unit have a need for bulk storage of materials and some limited pre-processing, such as guillotining large sheets of board.

 Both facilities need a small solvent store and need to share a loading bay facility with the Materials Processing Sections (see Section 7.13 below). Ideally the lifts from the loading bay should be at least 10m2 in floor space to facilitate the movement of materials.

 7.13 Materials Processing (Contiguous to a loading bay)
It is important that the various activities of Acquisitions, Periodicals and Cataloguing be brought together in one contiguous area in the new library complex. The processing of items from delivery to the Library to be shelved in the reading room requires smooth and efficient work flow to maintain the high through-put required by the Library’s users.

 Processing staff need a combination of well designed workstation to accommodate the necessary IT equipment and to facilitate the handling of large numbers of individual items. As well as this, wide corridor space is essential between workstations so that trolleys of volumes in the course of processing can be moved easily from one phase to the next. At any one time, there can be up to 36,000 volumes in process in this area; space must be available to provide suitable holding storage.

 There is a need for high security in this area as losses of unprocessed or only partially processed material are hard to identify. It is, at least, important to restrict access to this area to those persons who have a need to be there.

 It has been noticed in some new library buildings that efforts to integrate technical processing activities into the awareness of users that a gold-fish-bowl effect was often created, where staff were visible but unapproachable behind glass barriers. It would be desirable to achieve a greater integration of technical staff into the more visible services of the Library, but in a sympathetic manner.

 There is a need for an improved loading bay area compared to the Berkeley Library facility. There should be an awning and an adjustable platform to meet delivery vehicles.

 7.14 Additional Offices and Service Points
While the main focus of user service will be at the main inquiry counter, Subject Librarians and Sections Heads will need offices distributed through the new library complex. It is desirable that some distribution is facilitated, as it will be necessary to maintain a staff presence in all parts of the Library, both for the service point of view and to offer some security and visibility.

 7.15 Microfilming/Reprographics Centre
The need to rationalise the Library’s services provided for specialised reproduction of printed and other material has been identified as a management priority, but it is difficult to take action with the current dispersion of activities in several different buildings. High quality reproduction to microfilm, photographs, scanned images and indeed to paper is very technical and requires sophisticated equipment with trained operators.

 A single location should be made available within the new building complex for this purpose. Easy access to the Conservation Laboratory would be a bonus as the concerns of both activities overlap, as would proximity to the multi-media centre.

 A properly equipped Centre would have a Camera Room, with wet and dry processing areas available; a room fitted with digital scanners and associated IT equipment; an area for handling microfilm and printing; and an administration area for staff and reader reception. Apart from the administration area and possibly the microfilm handling area, daylight should be excluded, but the administration staff must have access to daylight.

 7.16 Extended Specialists Space for Old Library Departments
Both of the major library departments housed in the Old Library building suffer from increasing demand on a finite space. Both need additional materials storage and expanded reading room facilities.

 While it is unlikely that the new building will have a direct rôle in this requirement, it is expected that the Berkeley basement area under the podium will at least be reviewed with the possibility of extra storage for Early Printed Books examined. At the other end of the Old Library, the 1937 Reading Room might be examined in regard to increasing facilities for Manuscripts.

 It has been noted that with increasing use of IT, it could well be possible to relay electronic surrogates (images etc.) of Manuscripts and Early Printed materials to workstations in the new building, thus relieving much reading room pressure in these two departments. 

7.17 Staff facilities
Common room: a single location should be provided with facilities for 100+ staff. These should include seating for 40; a coffee bar area with staffed kitchen facilities; a separate smoking area; a sick room; toilet facilities and shower rooms; and a locker area. Lockable cycle storage should be provided.

 7.18 Tourist entrance / facilities
The Old Library is visited by 450,000 tourists each year who currently enter College by Front Gate or the Nassau Street entrances. There are strong advantages to a designated Visitor Entrance separate to those used by members of College. The Library plan shall give consideration to the creation of such an entrance into the new building from Nassau Street. This would assist crowd control and signage. It would also provide an opportunity for ticket and shop sales. The entrance should be wholly separate from academic areas of the building and should include exhibition space and public toilets. 

7.19 Security issues
The Library’s status as a legal deposit library requires high levels of security for the book stock. Entrance to the Library will be controlled by swipe card and turnstile. The current stock is protected by a magnetic strip detection system that will be maintained in the new building. Security staff will monitor those leaving the building and a control point will be required for them. The control point should be adjacent to the Reception area of the main service counter (4.4.1) to aid referral. All external doors, ground floor windows and some internal areas will have intruder alarms fitted. The use of CCTV in some areas may be required. The building will be fitted with smoke detection throughout and fire suppression in some areas.

 7.20 Librarian’s Office
The Librarian’s Office suite should be sited adjacent to the main entrance to the building. It should accommodate the Librarian, Deputy Librarian and secretarial support.

 7.21 Loading bay
All books and journals received by the Library under legal deposit come through the loading bay. The Library also takes delivery of furniture, equipment and materials in bulk. Items requested from the Santry Book Repository by readers must be handled through the loading bay. The new library complex must include a loading bay to accommodate the different deliveries and be situated adjacent to the materials processing area (7.13). Due to the range of vehicles used in deliveries the loading bay should incorporate an adjustable hydraulic lift or equivalent. Deliveries and requirements for the Conservation Laboratory are mentioned in section 7.12 above.


8. Environmental Requirements

    8.1 General
    Statement about standards, accommodation for plant (particularly accessibility for maintenance and servicing).

    Statement about sustainable passive/active design.

    Lessons gained and made use from other Library buildings

    8.2 Existing Installations

    8.3 Main Plant

    8.4 Building Management System

    8.5 Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

    8.6 Lighting & Electrical Power

    8.7 Data and telephones

    8.8 Electronic Security

    8.9 Fire Detection, Alarm and Suppression System

    8.10 Public Address

    8.11 Universal Access (Including lifts)

    8.12 Acoustics (including sound installation)


9. Library Tour
During the initial planning of this project, several members of the Library Planning Committee visited a representative sample of US and European libraries. A set of notes taken during these visits is attached for information. The main conclusion of the tour is summaries below:

    9.1 Campus Constraints
    It became clear in the course of this tour that it is possible to create very suitable underground library space by making use of a naturally lit atrium to bring daylight into the core of the building. This has the important added advantage of making it possible to construct a large building near the existing library complex without significant loss of external grassed and planted space.

    9.2 Value for Money
    The concept of separating reading space from book space as in the case of Cornell and Cape Western libraries presents an opportunity for making considerable economies in the construction and operating costs. This is achieved by setting tow standards of finish and environmental control for each area. The reading space is finished to a very high standard and provided with a heating and ventilation system that can cope with very high occupancy levels. It is also maintained at a standard temperature of 21ºC. The book space is finished to a very basic standard somewhat akin to a warehouse and provided with an industrial type service designed for low occupancy levels. This space is maintained at a lower temperature.

    9.3 Effective use of internal space
    It was significant that most major libraries visited included an atrium, either at the core of the building or to one side, surrounded by book and reader spaces. This provides a pleasant, airy working environment though at some cost in relation to noise levels. There was also the inevitable loss of reader space and where glass had been used extensively, significant environment problems (overheating).

    9.4 Services
    The increasing use of self-service issue facilities makes it imperative that the correct balance is achieved between staff and readers at circulation/enquiry points. In principle there is no reason why self-service issue points cannot be available throughout the Library with the traditional circulation desk dealing with problems and controlling counter reserve collections. The supervisory/custodial function remains important, however, and the staff will also need to remain visible as information services are expanded. In general all service points should be both visible and readily accessible.

    9.5 Control/Supervision
    Card controlled access and exit are required to free up library guards to concentrate on security and theft and to enable the Library management to obtain data on usage patterns.

    9.6 Information Technology
    Two of the most revolutionary libraries in this area were Cast Western where every space (including seating areas designed for informal study/relaxation) is wired up for power and data, but users are largely expected to provide their own machines, and Tilburg where 75% of reader spaces are equipped with computers. In both of these institutions the book was strictly an adjunct to IT based study and research, as witnessed by the fact that at Cast Western all stock is housed on open access compact shelving, while at Tilburg only 25% of stock is on open access. Both of these institutions were among the more successful new libraries seen and it is evident from the way in which they (and other providing more limited IT facilities) are used, that such an approach will be the way forward in many subject areas. This reinforces the view that the new building must be fully equipped for IT.

    9.7 Desiderata for New Library

    Attractive, easy to use entrance space which combines statement about the significance of the Library with a welcoming environment

    Clear signposting and easy access to all other parts of the Library comples (New building + Berkeley + Lecky)

    Membership and Circulation desks adjacant to entrances with former outside barrier

    An open circulation space (atruim?) to bring light into building and give reader time to get their bearings

    A fully wired up environment in the new building with perhaps 70% of the space (525 seats) equipped with computers

    A variety of study spaces including portable carrels and group study area.

    Good access for people suffering from physical disabilities with provision of suitable workspaces also: In general the design of the building must comply with the College’s policy of universal access – see copy of policy document attached.

    A clearly visible and accessible team of readers’ advisers working in a well-designed but user friendly environment. The environment for such staff will need to combine accessibility with sufficient privacy to allow them to undertake the other work when not helping users.

    A good workspace for technical staff, combining good lighting, ample workspace for people and equipment and a pleasant visual environment. This area will need to take account of workflows as material is delivered into service bays and progresses through a range of processes on to the shelves.

    Effective re-use of the Berkeley and Lecky Libraries, as far as possible, bringing about a natural progression of stock and activities between the three buildings.

    Overall flexibility of use, ensuring that in that, in the new building at least a range of potential challenges can be met without major structural work. 


Appendix with some dimensions and references

[Numbering relates to sub-paragraphs in section 7]


1. Reader places
The dimensions of ‘average’ readers’ desks in Library buildings currently are as follows:

Berkeley: 620 ´ 960 mm [Dept ´ Width]

Hamilton: 600 ´ 88 mm

Lecky: 580 ´ 880 mm

The recognised norm for reader workstations: 2.4 m2

Carrels in: Berkeley = 56

Lecky = 20


2. Additional open access shelving
360,000 volumes will occupy approximately 14,500 linear metres of shelving (Thompson, reference no. 5 for a mix of 3:1 Books:Periodicals).

360,000 volumes will occupy approximately 2,100 m2 (Edwards, reference no. 4)

 3. A single main service desk in a general circulation area
Reception desk area for admissions processing and initial inquiries:
Say 3 positions ´ 1.8 m ´ 5 m deep = 27 m2

Main inquiry counter area within the Library proper:

Say 6 positions ´ 2.4 m ´ 10 m deep = 144 m2

 Entrance Hall: say, 144 m2 (Berkeley entrance Hall: 133 m2)

Public circulation area: at least, 240 m2 (º Counter size. Iveagh Hall, Berkeley Library: 357 m2)

 Work room (s) adjacent to main inquiry counter:

say, 6 FTEs ´ 21.6 m2 = 130 m2 (See space for Technical Services processing, below)

 4. Self-service reserve collection stacks
Reserve self-service collection stacks: 8,000 volumes ´ 5.83 m2 = 47 m2 say, 50 m2

 5. Multi-media Centre
6 Workstation Centre = 30 m2 (Report of the Multi-media Policy Group, 1994) – includes some provision for counter and storage space.

12 Microfilm reader positions = 40 m2

 6. Self-service photocopying / printing areas
Say, 3 photocopiers and 3 computer networked printers per area per floor @ 40 m2 each. (Based on current Lecky photocopying self-service area.)

 7. Areas for user education and staff training

For a 30 seater area with computer equipment, allow 3.24 m2 floor space per occupant plus aisle on two sides and instructor’s equipment: say, 3.24 m2 ´ 50 = 162 m2

 For a 12 seater area with computer equipment, allow 3.24 m2 floor space per occupant plus instructor’s equipment: say, 3.24 m2 ´ 15 » 50 m2.

 8. Information Service
Allow for 5 FTEs ´ 21.6 m2 = 108 m2

9. Provision of specialised workstations
Allow at least 3.24 m2 per position for specialised workstations.

10. Machine room and network distribution areas
See the Information Systems Services’ document: Wiring Requirements.

11. Systems Office
Current facilities in the 1937RR occupy 40 m2 and are not large enough for the activities that will be envisioned as being necessary with the increased use of I.T. in the new library complex.

 12. Conservation Laboratory and Near Bindery Unit
6 FTE Conservators with workbenches and equipment currently occupy 170 m2 in the Conservation Laboratory.
3 FTE near-binder, with equipment and in-progress storage currently occupy 100 m2 in the Near Bindery Unit.

In the Map Library, the Conservation Laboratory staff use encapsulation equipment in an area approximately 70 m2.

The overall requirement for a new Conservation Laboratory facility is estimated to be at least 400 m2 if the Near Bindery Unit is included.

12.1. Loading Bay and Storage facilities
Loading Bay: at least similar to the Berkeley Library: 40 m2
Solvent Store with fire-retarding specifications: 6 m2
Conservation Laboratory storage: 70 m2 (as per current distributed storage)
Conservation Laboratory pre-processing: 50 m2

 13. Materials Processing (Contiguous to loading bay)
34 FTEs with an additional 2 workstations for training and short projects: Estimated Space: 220 m2
Corridor space, unpacking areas etc.: 580 m2
Holding storage: 240 m2
Total: 1,040 m2

Storage Space (adjacent to Conservation Laboratory storage?) for boxes etc.: 50 m2 (as currently required)

See section on: References and Points of Reference below for an indication of the methods used to calculate these special requirements.

 14. Additional Offices and Service Points
College norms are:
6 Academics are allocated 45 m2 plus 10 m2 for meetings
Single lecturer’s office – not less than 10 m2
Single secretary’s office – not less than 9 m2

 15. Microfilm/Reprographics Centre
Camera Room, 4 cameras, no daylight: 30 m2, with a minimum height requirement of 3.5 m
Wet processing room: 7.5 m2 (similar to present)
Finishing room: 7 m2 (similar to present)
Scanning facility: 25 m2 (similar to camera room)
Microfilm processing: 10 m2 (include with Scanning or Administration areas)
Administration: say 10 m2

Total area required: 85 m2

16. Extended specialist space for Old Library Department
Potential Storage Space under Berkeley Podium could be increased with a metazzine floor in the current Periodicals Reading Room. There is a disused tunnel linking the West end of the Old Library Building to the 1937 Reading Room

 17 Staff facilities
For 100+ staff an area of at least 150 m2 is suggested


References and Points of Reference

 Printed References: 

1. Office Design and Planning. I.T. Infrastructure Library. Paul Stocker, Andrew Howarth. London, HMSO, CCTA, 1992. TCD Call no. OPUB GB CENC 9A:9.
   p.22 L-shaped desk, worktop area 2.24 m2 , floor area 3.84 m2
  p.24 24 single desk, worktop area 1.62 m2, floor area 3.24 m2


2. Increasing Productivity and Profit in the Workplace – A guide to Office Planning and Design.
M. Glyn Shumake. NY, John Wiley, 1992. TCD Call no. HL-159-771 

    p.102- Clerical 1.85-5.06 m2 [Workspace]
                Clerical w/visitor 3.69-5.06 m2
               Supervisor 5.06-9.00 m2
               A – Manager 9.00-12.96 m2

 3. Encyclopaedia of Architecture, Design Engineering and Construction. NY, John Wiley, 1989. TCD Call no. REF 720 + M8.3

              Vol 3 – entry for Library

4. University Library Building Planning. Heather M. Edwards. NY, Scarecrow, 1990
TCD Call no. HX-19-816

              Chap. 3 – University Library Space Standards
              Summaries figures from Atkinson and other reports
              UGC / Atkinson norms:
              5.83 m2 per 1,000 volumes
              2.39 m2 per reader workstation

 5. Planning and Design of Library Buildings. Godfrey Thompson. 3rd ed. London, Butterworth, 1989 TCD Call no: HX-18-612

             21 monographs/metre @3/4 full
             28 periodical volumes/metre @4/4 full
             [figures used in calculation above are 24 and 30]

 6. Library Services in Higher Education Institutions. Dublin, HEA, 1983.
TCD Call no. OPUB IE HIGH 1:17

7. Report of the Multi-media Policy Group. Convenor: E. McGlade. 1994

            Appendix 1. Sample layout of centre with 6 booths – 28.35 m2

 8. Bibliographic Data Management Department: Space required for current operations.

           Document prepared by Colette Ní Mhoitleigh, 22 February 1995.

           Section 1.2 Desk, chair, drawer unit and book trolley
           measured requirement – 3.0´ 2.0=6.0 m2

 9. Periodicals Department in Berkeley Basement.

          Current floor area: 100 m2
          FTEs 7
          Allowing 4 m2 per FTE currently [total 28 m2] for ‘personal space’, the remaining space for           storage, equipment, files, aisles etc., etc. [72 m2] is equivalent to 2.6´ personal space.

          The amount of non-personal space was agreed to be appropriate during a visit by Librarian and           Deputy with P. Sheehan and E. Cook, February 1995.

 10. Calculation based on above points of reference

           Staff work area, per person:
           Desk, chair and trolley 6 m2
           Additional space for aisles, etc., 2.6´ 6= 15.6 m2
           Total 21.6 m2


Web version of Architectural Brief prepared by Trevor Peare, 22 August 1997