Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton libraries reopen for essential study: Resumption of activities next steps

Today we are opening our doors to the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton libraries as part of the phased resumption of Library activities. We know how much the libraries mean to all of us at Trinity, and just how much disruption to research, teaching and learning has been caused by COVID-19.

Our reopening is focused on the essential needs of academic staff, postgraduate students and undergraduate students who may be sitting reassessments. There is also an expanded range of new services, including ‘Click and Collect’, ‘Scan on Demand’ and a postal delivery service, supporting those working remotely − further details here.

Access for external/visiting readers is not possible at this time but please keep an eye on the Library homepage for updates. The situation may change as we approach the start of teaching term on the 28th September 2020.

The safety of our staff and students is foremost in this process, ensuring a safe working and studying environment. The safety protocols that will be in place for the physical reopening will be as follows:

  • Reading rooms in Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton libraries will open for individual study and self-service borrowing
  • There will be no counter services and no group study activities
  • Social distancing will be in place across all reading rooms (chairs at least 2m apart)
  • There will be a ‘keep right’ policy and readers will be asked not to congregate anywhere in the building
  • The Library will make hand gel and wipes available at key locations throughout the buildings
  • Access to the Berkeley/Lecky/Ussher complex is via the Berkeley Library only (Lecky entrance in the Arts Block is closed)
  • The opening hours in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton will be 09:30 – 17:00 (Mon-Fri)
  • The John Stearne Medical Library will reopen on 10th August with limited hours; in the interim, materials held there can be requested via the new services (‘Click & Collect’ etc).

There will be signage to assist you in observing these protocols which are in keeping with HSE guidelines. For those intending to use the Library, I would encourage you to plan your study and research in advance.

The reopening of the physical Library is being phased in keeping with Trinity’s overall health and safety guidelines and the government roadmap. The most recent phase on 29th June, involved the reopening of Kinsella Hall for the essential research needs of postgraduates and early stage researchers. Based on their feedback, we know it was hugely beneficial for those who availed of it. One postgrad wrote ‘I have got more done in the past two hours than I did in the past two months’. We hope that today’s further reopening will help others who need on-site Library study space and services.

Access to all Library reading rooms, including Manuscripts & Archives and Early Printed Books (as well as the Book of Kells exhibition), will resume on August 10th. Please continue to consult the Library’s Academic Continuity Guide on the Library website for regular updates.

I look forward to welcoming you all back in person as our resumption plans progress.

Helen Shenton, Librarian & College Archivist

 

Reopening of the Physical Library

As part of Trinity College Dublin’s overall plans for the resumption of activities the reopening of the physical Library and services will be phased and gradual. The safety of our staff and students will at all times remain our priority throughout this process.

“When we had to close the library buildings, we kept the Library open online and continued to provide students and staff with our Library services throughout COVID-19, including online services and virtual consultations. I am delighted that the reopening of the physical Library will now begin, starting on a modest scale, from the end of this month, culminating with virtually full access in August (with social distancing and other safety measures in place.) All of this will be complemented by a range of new online services starting on June 29th through to August. The overarching goal is the safe resumption of activity within the Library in a phased manner that enables access whilst protecting the health and safety of our readers and our Library staff.  We very much look forward to opening our doors once again to our readers,” says Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton.

Continue reading “Reopening of the Physical Library”

Honouring the pioneering work of Professor M.L. Colker

Illuminating the Middle Ages which showcases the treasure trove of medieval Latin manuscripts in the Library is this week’s choice of exhibition in the online exhibition series. Professor M.L Colker who created the first comprehensive catalogue of the Library’s medieval Latin manuscript collection sadly passed away last week. We pay tribute to his pioneering work by revisiting this exhibition curated in his honour.

In the 1950s, Marvin ‘Mark’ Colker of the University of Virginia embarked on the Herculean task of cataloguing this collection, comprising around 450 manuscripts.Over the course of 30 years, Colker made regular visits to Dublin, spending long hours working tirelessly in the manuscripts reading room at the Library. His dedication resulted in the publication of Trinity College Dublin Library: Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Latin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1991), fondly referred to as the ‘Colker Catalogue’. His ground-breaking work is the cornerstone for any project or research based on the Latin manuscripts.

By way of tribute, an exhibition entitled Illuminating the Middle Ages showcases the diversity of material made accessible to researchers through Colker’s commitment and expertise. The online exhibition features vividly illuminated psalters, a vibrantly decorated Book of Hours, a handbook for classical learning and a thirteenth-century copy of Peter Lombard’s Sentences. It also includes images from the Book of Armagh, the sumptuously decorated Dublin Apocalypse, as well as a unique handbook for confessors.

Colker’s work was also honoured with the publication of a special edition of Hermathena: a Trinity College Dublin Review — the Department of Classics’ journal which has been published without interruption since 1873. The special issue of Hermathena was edited by Anna Chahoud, Professor of Latin.

The collection, entitled Fabellae Dublinenses Revisited and other Essays in Honour of Marvin Colker, includes essays by scholars from Trinity College (John Scattergood, Edward McParland, Anna Chahoud) and abroad (Thomas Smith, Ernesto Stagni, Giulio Vannini, Ornella Rossi, Silverio Franzoni). The collection of essays gives special attention to the text known, after Colker’s discovery in TCD MS 602, as ‘Petronius Redivivus’. The studies partly engage with Colker’s pioneering research on select Latin manuscripts (MS 602, MS 632) and partly offer a complementary tribute to the extraordinary value of Trinity Library collections for literary, historical and architectural inquiries (MS 115, MS 496, Fagel Collections I.1.95).

Dublin Apocalypse, folio 3v (Early 14th century)

Valentine’s Fines Amnesty

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
We won’t charge you fines,
If your books are overdue

…from Friday 14 – Saturday 29 February, anyway.

After consultation with the two Student Unions the Library is implementing a once-off, two-week amnesty on collecting fines. Show your love for the Library by getting any lost and overdue books back to their home. No fines levied and no questions asked!

The fine print:

  • The amnesty will apply for two weeks from Friday 14 February (Valentine’s Day!) to Saturday 29 February (leap year!) 2020.
  • The amnesty will be limited to materials currently on loan. It will *not* apply to fines/charges associated with items that have already been returned.
  • Readers are asked to return items via the service counters or specially designated book return bins (which will be clearly marked and very visible).

Trinity Pays Tribute to Architect Paul Koralek

It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of Paul Koralek, the renowned architect who originally designed the iconic modernist Berkeley Library.

The 1960s building was considered a beacon of modernism for Trinity, Dublin and Ireland. More importantly it hailed a new era for students and researchers, opening up the Library collections to a much wider readership.

The Library of Trinity College Dublin was honoured by the architect’s presence on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Berkeley Library in 2017 when he gave a public interview in Trinity College.

“It is where it all started,” he said as he walked around the Berkeley Library during that historic visit.

Commenting on the architect’s passing, College Librarian and Archivist, Helen Shenton said:

“Paul had a long-standing relationship with the Library, Trinity and Ireland. Many of us who had the privilege to know him formed a deep respect and admiration for him and we have especially fond memories of his recent visit in 2017. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to his daughters Lucy and Katy on this very sad occasion.”

“The Berkeley Library when built transformed library services for our students and readers. It was a modern library not just for Trinity, but for Ireland. Paul’s architectural vision for this modernist building played a critical role in making this possible.”

Paul Koralek’s Architectural Vision for the Berkeley Library

The architect, Paul Koralek was just 28 when he won the international competition in 1961 for a new library building. The highest standards of design were commanded by an international competition and the award was publicly announced by the then Lord Mayor of the winning architect, the young New York based architect Paul Koralek. Dublin of the 1960s featured buildings such as Busáras, Liberty Hall and Hawkins House and the new Berkeley Library was to join this cityscape. Considered one of the finest modern buildings in Ireland, the Berkeley Library is a pure example of the “Brutalist” style of bare concrete architecture popularised by le Corbusier.

Koralek’s innovative use of concrete, poured into wooden moulds gives it the impression of wood grain on the surface of the concrete slabs. Contractors G and T Crampton built it, with Koralek overseeing the meticulous mixing of concrete on site. When complete, it doubled the reading space as well as storage for books for the College, which also involved the employment of 57 new members of staff. Moreover, it provided a unique reading experience where the reader was prioritised. It was officially opened in 1967 by the President Éamon De Valera.

Open Day Library Tours – Saturday 23 November

As part of Open Day the Library would be delighted if you could join us for a short tour of the Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher Libraries. Students and their families are all very welcome. Teachers too! Please meet us in the foyer of the Berkeley Library.

Tours will run every 15 minutes from 10:15 to 13:00 and will last about 10 minutes. They will be led by Trinity students so it’s a chance to talk to them about life at Trinity and they might even show you their favourite spot to study in the Library!
We look forward to seeing you.

Library Study Space Campaign

To address the issue of ‘desk-hogging’ (i.e., the practice of leaving books and personal belongings unattended for long periods of time at Library study spaces, thus preventing others from using those spaces), the Library is launching a Study Space Campaign on Wednesday 20 November 2019 in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, John Stearne and Hamilton Libraries. A dedicated study space team, wearing blue t-shirts, will patrol Library reading rooms to free up study spaces that have been unoccupied for more than 60 minutes.

The team will operate using the following procedure:

  • Leaflets will be left at study spaces observed to be unattended. The leaflets will indicate the time at which the study space was observed to be unoccupied and the time at which it will be cleared should the reader fail to return within the allotted 60 minute period
  • Any books and belongings left at the study space will be cleared to a box and moved to a designated storage area on the same floor. This includes laptops and other portable devices, so readers are strongly advised to back-up all work regularly!
  • The information on each leaflet will also be recorded on separate clipboard sheets to ensure transparency

**please note that the above procedure does not apply to officially reserved carrels**

The Library Study Space Campaign relies on the cooperation of all readers. We ask that you support the study space team to ensure a level playing field for those who come to the Library to study and prepare for exams. You can assist us by not leaving laptops, phones, USB drives or any other valuables unattended for any length of time, and by sticking to the 60 minute rule.

The Library shall not be held responsible for damaged or stolen belongings.

For further information about the Library’s seating policy, please see our Library Regulations page.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: library@tcd.ie.

Library Desk Monitor Vacancies (2019-20)

The Library is recruiting a new team of 8 student Library Desk Monitors as part of a Library Study Space Campaign to address the issue of ‘desk-hogging’ in the contemporary libraries (i.e. the practice of leaving personal belongings unattended for long periods of time at Library study desks, preventing others from using those desks). Applications are now being accepted for the 2019-20 academic year.

Successful applicants will need to be capable of the physical demands of patrolling Library reading rooms and clearing belongings from desks. The Library will be launching a communications campaign over the coming weeks to inform readers of the new policy to ensure that the work of the desk monitor team is as simple and straightforward as possible.

Team members will work a minimum of 10 hours and a maximum of 12 hours per week. Shifts will be 2 hours in duration each day (Monday to Friday) and assigned according to a rota system, with some flexibility to swap and change as may be required. The work will be split into two periods, coinciding with the pre-Christmas and pre-summer exam preparation periods:

 

  • Semester 1, 2019: 18th November – 13th December (4 weeks)
  • Semester 2, 2020: 23rd March – 1st May (6 weeks)

A full job description and short-listing criteria are available on the application website.

**Please note that this webpage can only be accessed locally on the University network**

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Friday 1st November 2019.

Interviews for these positions will take place on Tuesday 12th November 2019 with a view to successful applicants starting on Monday 18th November. Candidates shortlisted for interview will be notified by e-mail.

If you have any questions please contact Derek Birney, Reading Room Maintenance Executive, by e-mail: DJBIRNEY@tcd.ie.

Open House Festival: tours of the Berkeley Library – Saturday 12 October

As part of this year’s Open House Festival, the Berkeley Library is being opened up for public tours from 11:00 to 16:00 on Saturday 12 October. This is a special opportunity to welcome members of the public to experience ‘Ireland’s finest modern building’.

The tours are likely to involve some minor noise disruption, particularly on the upper floors, but every effort will be taken to minimise the impact. Please note that alternative quiet study spaces will be available in the Lecky and Ussher libraries.

If you would like to offer any feedback please contact Peter Dudley (peter.dudley@tcd.ie).

Increase in 24-hour Library study spaces during Supplemental Exams

To facilitate students preparing for supplemental examinations, the Library will open all three floors of the 24-hour space in the Ussher Library (i.e., Kinsella Hall) from Monday 19th – Friday 30th August inclusive. This will increase the number of spaces available on a 24-hour basis by approximately 350.

Please see the Library’s opening hours page for details of the relevant changeover procedure.