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Welcome to Academic Year 2017/18

The Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton

A very warm welcome to all new and returning students, academics, researchers and staff. We wish everyone a very enjoyable and successful year. If you are new to Trinity, your ID card is all you need to start using the Library. The Library website is key to finding out more about us, including opening hours and how to access help and support; follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep updated.

For those new to campus and wanting to learn more about the Library, watch our video to see what we offer and join the free and fun Library HITS information sessions from Monday 25 September. Library staff are here to help you - at the counters with loans and directions, at Duty Librarian desks for more detailed enquiries and there is a team of Subject Librarians to guide you.

For those returning to College, the Library’s Iveagh Hall has been revamped, with a service hub beneath. Throughout 2017 we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Berkeley Library by President Éamon de Valera in 1967, and the lovely new furniture references the 1960s. The Berkeley50 celebrations over the summer included an immersive performance by Lir Academy students and a series of psychedelic ‘happenings’, which co-celebrated the 50th anniversary of MOOG synthesisers in collaboration with the Music Department and Science Gallery.

Future highlights will include the Open House weekend in mid-October. As well as public tours of the building, don’t miss the opportunity to hear Paul Koralek, architect of the Berkeley, in conversation with John Tuomey on Friday 13 October.

Swift’s 350th anniversary was commemorated online in collaboration with other cultural institutions. You’ll find all our online exhibitions a very useful introduction to the breadth of Library activity, and a great resource for possible undergraduate projects.

From the start of term we will be piloting the use of self-service photography in the Manuscripts & Archives reading room.

Many of you will know that Trinity College Dublin is a UK copyright library, entitled to a copy of all UK publications. Recent legislation now entitles us to electronic legal deposit material from UK publishers. We’ve been developing the infrastructure and processes to handle this new material, which now numbers 178,000 e-books, over 2.3 million e-journal articles and over 10 million archived UK websites.

Due to the UK legislation focusing on preservation, this electronic content can only be viewed on dedicated terminals in the Berkeley, Lecky, Hamilton and John Stearne libraries. To address this, the Library is taking a two-pronged approach. The first, ‘Reader’s Choice’, is an initiative which invites our readers to recommend UK electronic and print publications for purchase. The second initiative will see the installation of access points in other areas under the Library’s umbrella, namely the 24-hour Kinsella Hall, the Manuscripts & Archives and Early Printed Books reading rooms, and the 1937 Reading Room for postgraduates.

Finally, in the ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’, ‘post truth’ world, ensuring the capture and preservation of contemporary memory has never been more vital. To this end, we have been supporting the legislative campaign for Irish e-legal deposit. Unlike most European countries, no legal mandate to capture the contents of the Irish web domain exists. What that means for future citizens and researchers is a potential black hole in the Irish memory and in its historical record. We were reminded during the recent 1916 commemorations of the impact of the loss of the national archives in the Four Courts in 1922.

So, at the beginning of the new academic year, seek out and use information, data and knowledge with intelligence, independence of thought, wisdom and judgment. And the Library is here to help and inspire you.

With warmest regards,

Helen Shenton
Librarian and College Archivist
The Library of Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin