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Update from Librarian and College Archivist to students and staff

22 April 2021

Dear students and staff,

I am very pleased to announce that from Monday 26th April there will be further reopening of the Library. This is to support our students as they finish assignments and prepare for their assessments. From next week, students will have increased access to safe study spaces and counter services will also be available. This schedule will remain in place over the summer, supporting our researchers, through to the beginning of the new academic year.

From Monday, 26th April 

  • The Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher Complex and the Hamilton Library open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, with counter services 11am-3pm (from the end of assessments on Monday 24th May, opening hours will be 9.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday.)
  • Kinsella Hall (floors 1-3 of the Ussher Library)
    • Monday to Friday
      • 9am-4pm, access via Berkeley Library entrance
      • 4-5pm, security changeover (no access)
      • 5pm-10pm, access via external door on Ussher podium
    • Weekends: 8am-10pm, access via external door on Ussher podium

  • John Stearne Medical Library open 9.30am-4pm, Monday to Friday
  • 1937 Reading Room remains on current hours, 8am-10pm, Monday to Sunday
  • The Joint Research Collections (Manuscripts & Archives and Early Printed Books) Reading Room in the Old Library will be open two days per week on Tuesday and Thursday by appointment, between 10.30am-12.15pm and 1.15pm – 3pm.  Click for further details.
  • The Map Library will be open two afternoons per week by appointment: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm-3.45pm.

Pre-booking a study space or visit is essential.

The Scan on Demand and Postal Delivery services are continuing, as is the online Chat with us service. The Subject Librarian team is available for virtual consultations and electronic resources continue to be accessible remotely. Click and Collect will revert to storage material only. Open shelf materials will be available for self-service borrowing.  

Library survey
We continually strive to improve and adapt the Library, and your views in this year’s Library survey are especially important to us. I would encourage all staff and students to have your say about your Library and how it can best support you now and in the future. It ends on 27th April, click on the survey link to get started. As a thank you for completing this survey, we will enter your name in a draw to win from a selection of prizes including Airpods, a Fitbit tracker, Trinity Gift Shop online gift cards, One4all vouchers and T-card top-ups.

IReL Open Access Publishing Agreements
The Library is part of the IReL consortium negotiating open access publishing agreements with a number of scholarly publishers. These agreements allow Trinity researchers to publish Open Access in the publishers' academic journals without paying an Article Processing Charge (APC).  IReL has concluded open access publishing agreements with Elsevier, Wiley, Sage, Oxford University Press, and others, with more in the pipeline for 2021. For Trinity researchers who publish articles via these publishers, these agreements will now enable immediate open access to their work. In line with the TCD Open Access Publications Policy, researchers should also deposit their final published pdf in TARA via the RSS. Researchers whose publishers are not part of these agreements should upload their Author’s Accepted Manuscript (after peer review) to TARA via the RSS.  For more information on publisher agreements and routes to achieving open access, please see the Open Access Guide.

National Open Research Forum
Ireland's National Open Research Forum (NORF) has been developing a National Open Research Landscape Report that aims to summarise progress and challenges in five areas (Open Access Publication, FAIR research outputs, Research Infrastructures, Skills and Competencies, Incentives) in the research eco-system. It will make recommendations to Government to enable an Irish Open Research system. NORF is running a consultation process until 7th May, 2021. A College wide drop-in Q&A will take place today for Trinity researchers, Thursday, 22nd April 3pm-4pm on Zoom. Click to register

‘Inspiring Ideas’; the future of libraries
The evolving nature and future of libraries was the theme of the recent ‘In Conversation’ between the British Library’s Chief Executive Roly Keating and myself, as part of Trinity Development and Alumni’s ‘Inspiring Ideas’ webinar series. In summarising the impact of the current pandemic, Roly Keating said, ‘things were lost, but things were also gained’ in innovating the library experience. If you would like to listen back, here is the YouTube video.

Virtual Trinity Library launch
In March, the Library also launched the Virtual Trinity Library, a University strategic programme that will conserve, curate, digitise and research our most valued collections, making them accessible to a global audience. We were honoured to have as our special guest the President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Dr Vartan Gregorian. Dr Gregorian very sadly passed away last week. His memorable words remain with us in his breadth of knowledge and deep insights into the value of education, of libraries, of philanthropy. He described libraries as ‘instruments of immortality’ …’preserving humanity’, and our own Library as the ‘Diary of Ireland’. To view one of his final public appearances, click on our Virtual Trinity Library website.

Living in Lockdown project
The ‘Diary of Ireland’ certainly applies to the ‘Living in Lockdown’ project, a rapid-response archives collecting project. In association with the Trinity Long Room Hub, the Library invited the College community and their families and friends, to submit records in any format reflecting their experiences of or thoughts about lockdown. Out of the hundreds of submissions some of the most moving were from school children, working with the Trinity Access Programme. To mark the anniversary, the children’s work is showcased in our online exhibition.

Brendan Kennelly Literary Archive
The Provost launched the Brendan Kennelly Literary Archive last week at a celebratory online event, to coincide with the poet’s 85th birthday. The event featured a message and poem from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins along with selected poems recited by Trinity student Lily O’Byrne; poet, Paula Meehan; singer, Bono; and by Brendan Kennelly himself. It received a huge response from within College and externally with over 300 people in attendance. To listen back click on the YouTube video. With the appointment of an archivist, this rich literary archive will become available to researchers and students. See our online exhibition Forever Begin for some selected examples.

Fagel Collection
There will also be a special event hosted by the Netherlands Embassy in Ireland on 27th April, marking King’s Day, the national holiday of the Netherlands. This year it will feature a panel of experts from the Royal Library of the Netherlands and the Library of Trinity College Dublin for a special introduction to the unique Fagel Collection, a key strand of the Virtual Trinity Library initiative. All are welcome to attend the online event.

‘Out of the Ashes’ – ‘Burning the Books’
Finally, as the last event of the three-year ‘Out of the Ashes’ series between the ‘Beyond 2022; Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury project and the Trinity Long Room Hub, I will be in conversation with Bodleian Librarian Richard Ovenden on 25th May, exploring the theme of the ‘Burning the Books’. This is the title of his book, which was also serialised on BBC Radio 4. The timing is to mark the centenary of the burning of the Custom House when the archive of the Local Government was destroyed.Click to register

I feel this term has been particularly challenging for us all, with the continuous Level 5 lockdown restrictions in place. On behalf of everyone in the Library, I would like to wish our students well in their revision and assessment in the coming weeks.

With warmest good wishes to you, your family and friends,

Helen Shenton


Helen Shenton FRSA, FIIC
Librarian and College Archivist