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Update from Librarian and College Archivist to students and staff

25 March 2020

Dear Students and Staff,

Following yesterday’s confirmation by the Government that universities will remain closed until April 19 at the earliest, I would like to personally reassure you that the Library is here to support all of our students, academics and staff working from home during this difficult time. There is a range of Library services available to you, and members of Library staff across all departments have been busy responding to enquiries and research requests, and holding virtual consultations since College closed. Our Teaching and Research Support team is available to provide online support for your research queries. Subject Librarians will also advise you how to make the most of our databases and online resources. A reminder also that there is Off-campus access to licensed electronic resources (books, databases and journals) to all registered staff and students. See our Guide to Supports and Services for Working or Studying from Home for further details on all Library services.

In light of the extended closure of the campus announced yesterday, borrowing periods will also reflect this. All books that were due to be returned by April 6th have been automatically renewed to Friday 1st May.

During these strange times, there have also been some positive developments for the Library and libraries in general. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some publishers, aggregators and suppliers of digital content (including Cambridge University Press, ProQuest, JSTOR and others) have come forward to offer a range of solutions to help institutions maintain their teaching and research activity. Solutions being offered, include making textbooks and journals freely available and removing limits on the numbers of concurrent users for e-books to cope with demand.  Library staff are working to make content relevant to teaching and research activity in the University available to staff and students via Stella Search and the Library website. If there are particular offers you are aware of which would benefit students and researchers in your disciplines please discuss these with your Subject Librarian.

We will keep you updated on any additional Library services, supports and developments during the current period; for example our colleagues in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have created a guide which includes authoritative resources for researchers and guidance for healthcare professionals and the public: Coronavirus – Covid-19 Information Resources. Please regularly check our Library website for all further updates.

As a result of the widespread closure of cultural institutions, including the Old Library, in the event you are seeking some creative stimulus or inspiration for school work, you might visit some of our Library online exhibitions, based on our wonderful research collections. We will be featuring an exhibition a week online and in social media. I would also highly recommend the MOOC (massive open online course) on the Book of Kells and the recent History of the Book, created by Trinity academics and staff from both Trinity and Edward Worth Libraries.

Finally, even while we are in this crisis, we are thinking how it is being documented and how it will be archived. Future research into the experience of this unprecedented time will depend upon the different types of records which are being created daily, from websites to children's paintings ‒ the main concern is that they should be captured now. The Library is exploring how this crucial information might be preserved, together with the Trinity Long Room Hub. If you are interested please contact  Dr Jane Maxwell (jane.maxwell@tcd.ie) in Manuscripts & Archives.

I hope you, your families and your friends remain safe and well during these challenging times and that you are adjusting to working and studying from home in this extended period of closure.

Best regards,

Helen Shenton FRSA, FIIC
Librarian and College Archivist