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Welcome to Academic Year 2021/22

The Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton

A very warm welcome to all returning students, academics, researchers and staff. An especial welcome to our students returning to campus following an extremely challenging year – we wish you every success in the University. All of the libraries are open and, in keeping with the Provost's 'Return to Campus' guidelines and public health advice, face coverings and two-metre social distancing are mandatory. The booking system for 1 hour 45 minute slots remains in place.

Opening Hours

Opening hours are as follows up until Sunday 26 September 2021, after which evening and Saturday openings will be introduced in the BLU Complex and Hamilton Library:

  • Berkeley and Lecky Libraries Monday-Friday 09.30-17.00
  • Ussher Library Monday-Friday 09.30-16.00
  • Kinsella Hall Monday-Friday 17.00-22.00; Saturdays and Sundays 08:00-22:00
  • John Stearne Medical Library Monday-Friday 09.30-16.00
  • Hamilton Library Monday-Friday 09.30-17.00
  • Research Collections Tuesdays & Thursdays by appointment
  • 1937 Reading Room  Monday-Sunday 08.00-22.00 from September 20th

Full details are online of all opening hours and the booking system.

Library Supports & Services

The Welcome to the Library page has everything needed for you to get started.

Look out for this semester's Library HITS (Helpful Information for Trinity Students/Staff), the interdisciplinary taster sessions co-delivered with Student Learning & Development. These cover everything from essay writing, academic integrity and critical thinking to publishing and promoting your research.

In an increasingly complex information landscape, the Library has created guides to support readers by synthesising information. The Fake News & Misinformation guide includes a timeline charting the history of 'Fake News' which might spark discussions across many disciplines.  

The Writing a Literature Review guide provides practical support on approaches to the many types of reviews required for student assignments and theses. Systematic reviews identify all relevant studies on a topic and can suggest responses to real-world problems - even if that answer is 'we don't know the answer yet'. The guide to Doing a Systematic Review covers everything from frameworks for structuring a research question, to developing a protocol, to writing up research for publication.

The Subject Librarian team is happy to advise further and can give skills workshops for students and one-to-one consultations for researchers and staff.

The Library staff's knowledge extends beyond Trinity's extensive resources to many other external sources of information. During lockdown, when there was no physical access to the buildings, Library staff's ingenuity helped readers obtain alternative access to information. Please contact us via the Chat with Us service on the Library website; email and a Library staff member will get back to you; or contact your Subject Librarian directly. 

Partnering with the Disability Service

The Library has partnered with the Disability Service on a major initiative to improve the sensory environment in the contemporary libraries. Over the coming weeks a number of spaces will be refurbished and specially selected 'low distraction' furniture is being installed.

The Old Library Redevelopment Project

The Old Library Redevelopment Project is progressing apace. The Government announced €25 million funding for the conservation of the iconic Old Library in May. Last week an unveiling ceremony took place during a visit by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco to Trinity marking his donation towards the project. Two friezes were unveiled in his honour; the first on the University's Benefactors' Wall at the entrance to the Trinity College Dining Hall and the second on the Gallery of the Long Room, continuing our tradition of commemorating benefactors going back to the founding donors to the Library. Media coverage included the Irish Independent; Irish Times; Daily Mail; Monaco TribuneMonaco Info video; Royal Central; RTÉ online and University Times among others.

The Library will ensure collections remain available during the future construction phase of the Old Library Development Project. An interim Research Collections Study Centre will be located in the basement of the Ussher Library for the duration of the construction work, where readers can access material under the usual conditions. As part of the current enabling works, a stock relocation project has started in the Ussher Library basement. Further details will be communicated through the semester.

Long Room Sculptures

Next year will see the addition of four new sculpture bust portraits, representing women scholars in the Long Room. After a national and international shortlisting process, Trinity awarded commissions to four artists: Maudie Brady to portray Ada Lovelace; Rowan Gillespie to portray Mary Wollstonecraft; Vera Klute to portray Rosalind Franklin; and Guy Reid to portray Augusta Gregory. It is anticipated the new sculptures will go on display towards the end of 2022.

Virtual Trinity Library

The Virtual Trinity Library, an ambitious digitisation programme centred on the Library's unique collections across nine key themes, will see a number of exciting initiatives in the forthcoming year. The importance of the Virtual Trinity Library in providing digital material for teaching, learning and research was deeply reinforced during the pandemic, which accelerated the digital transformation of the University and the Library.

A centrepiece of the Virtual Trinity Library is the Carnegie Corporation of New York-funded conservation and digitisation of sixteen medieval manuscripts, among which are the acclaimed Winchcombe Psalter and The Life of St Alban by Matthew Paris. Digitisation of these two exquisite manuscripts will be completed by next semester. Other initiatives will include the publication of the new online exhibition, 'Women of Cuala Press' and publication through the MARLOC catalogue of the Cuala Press Business Archives. Following the launch of the Dutch Fagel Collection's eight videos filmed in The Hague this year, we will be launching a second series highlighting the importance of the collection filmed in Trinity and Dublin over the next semester.

Digital Collections' Persistent Identifiers

The Library has taken a significant step towards eliminating the issue of 'link rot' in the objects we create. This occurs where a link no longer directs to the content that it did originally. The Library's Digital Collections now have 'persistent identifiers' in the form of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) attached to the objects in the repository. A persistent identifier is a long-lasting reference to a resource that eliminates the issue of 'link rot'. Unique persistent identifiers can be used to consistently identify digital objects online and will ensure the sustainability of users' citations and bookmarks. For more on this, see our recent blogpost.

Finally, since the beginning of the pandemic, colleagues have said 'the Library never closed' as we flipped initially to online-only access; accelerated access to digital content; created a swathe of new services from scratch; pivoted to online consultations and so on. The Library was in the vanguard of the physical re-opening of College and, with the current gradual loosening of restrictions, we look forward to supporting everyone in what will hopefully be a better year for all of us. I would like to pay tribute to the resilience and flexibility of Library colleagues, and applaud the spirit, patience and hardiness of all our Library users.

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

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