#TCDLibrarySurvey – Improving Your Library Experience

pop art image of Berkeley Library

Last week we launched #TCDLibrarySurvey seeking feedback from staff and students on their experience of using the Library.

Our last survey in 2018 showed a 79% overall satisfaction rate with the Library; 85% of students thought the Library helped them succeed on their course; and 77% said the Library had the right resources for their course.

In that survey, we asked you ‘what one thing could the Library do’ across three key areas. We received some great suggestions and as a result of your feedback, we were able to embed the following services and resources:

To help you find hard copy resources more easily:

  • An interactive 3D mapping tool to navigate Library spaces more effectively, and to visualise the exact location of any open shelf items that you may want to borrow or consult. The mapping application is integrated into Stella Search and more recently, the Library booking system
  • The MyReadingList service, fully embedded in Blackboard enables academics to point students to the availability of material, in real time, in Stella Search. A new digitisation service will allow request of scanned copies of content from Library holdings
  • A scan on demand service to facilitate requests for scanned copies of print materials, especially reference materials and periodicals. The service is free of charge and has been very much welcomed by readers not in a position to visit the physical Library

To help you find digital resources more easily:

  • A virtual bookshelf for journals: the Browzine app allows you to stay on top of research in your discipline. ‘Push notifications’ alert readers to new articles for reading on the go
  • New video guides to get you started with planning your search journey and helping you to find and evaluate information. Bespoke information skills workshops and one to one research consultations with your Subject Librarian to refine your research topic
  • Improved access to e-journals with LEAN Library. By starting your literature search in Google, Google Scholar or PubMed, LEAN Library seamlessly connects you with full text access to articles and PDFs

To improve the Library building and spaces:

  • Sensory Library tours co-delivered with the student Disability Ambassador team have provided a bespoke experience for students with sensory disabilities. Limited to six people, the tours highlight quiet study spaces and resources for those who find Library spaces overwhelming
  • A new informal learning space inside the Lecky Library entrance has been remodelled with bright comfy single-seaters and tables, acoustic baffles and new carpet tiles give the area a strong visual identity
  • An improved Services Hub on the lower level of the Berkeley Library: bespoke study desks were installed to facilitate access to PCs, the tables in the group study rooms were replaced and additional soft furnishings were installed to create informal learning spaces

Thanks to everyone who has so far completed this year’s #TCDLibrarySurvey

We want to continue to learn from your experience of using the Library. By having your say, you are providing us with valuable insights that help shape Library services. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know your thoughts.

As a thank you for taking part, participants will be entered into a prize draw to win AirPods, a Fitbit tracker, Trinity Gift Shop online gift cards, One4all vouchers and T-card top-ups.

If you have any queries about this survey, please contact us at library@tcd.ie

#TCDLibrarySurvey – have your say

A Library survey was launched College-wide today seeking feedback from all staff and students on their experience of using the Library.

The Library is at the heart of the University, providing services, resources, training and space. Its important role within the College community has been further highlighted over the past year during Covid-19. This is an opportunity for you to have your say in relation to your Library and how it can best support you currently, and in its future development.

The survey is being administered on behalf of the Library by an independent research agency called Alterline. The first survey, which ran in December 2018, received 2,540 responses across six core metrics. It is a biennial survey and in response to feedback received in 2018, the Library has embedded a series of additional services and resources across the Library.

Your views will help us understand your needs as readers and will provide valuable insights to enable the development of responsive services for the future.

As a thank you for taking part, at the end of the survey all participants will  have the option to be entered into a prize draw to win AirPods, a Fitbit tracker, Trinity Gift Shop online gift cards, One4all vouchers and T-card top-ups.

Click on the survey link to get started, or copy and paste the link into your browser: https://www.tcd.ie/library/survey

If you have any queries about this survey, please contact us at library@tcd.ie

We need to talk about ebooks

The Irish Library community has recently called on the Government, publishers and other stakeholders to recognise, and take action against, the electronic content crisis which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the primary challenges include:

  • Titles that are not available in ebook format
  • Titles that are available as ebooks but are not available via an institutional licence
  • Titles that are available via an institutional licence but are excessive in price

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to close the Library doors, we moved quickly to ensure we could supply access to the ebooks required. On March 12th, we issued a call to undergraduate and postgraduate Directors of Teaching and Learning and a second call on April 28th, to Directors of Research to submit requests for ebooks required to support learning and research. As a result of these calls, during the first six months of the pandemic, we delivered access to 1,500 titles. Costs ranged from an average of €130 to €1,500 per title [1].

Continue reading “We need to talk about ebooks”

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”

Expiry of Covid-19 temporary ‘free’ publisher access to online resources

In response to the pandemic, many publishers provided free online access, on a temporary basis, to thousands of books, journals and other resources.

In the early days of the University closure, the Library worked hard to identify which of these online resources, were relevant to university teaching and research activity. All these resources were made available through the Library’s Academic Continuity Guide; in addition, many were integrated into Stella Search.

These resources are available for a limited time only – the expiry date is detailed under each resource in our Academic Continuity Guide. The first tranche expires on the 31st of May; the remainder are available until the 30th of June 2020.

If you require long-term access to resources on this list to support your teaching or research, we invite you to contact your Subject Librarian.

There may be occasions when we are unable to provide access to a resource if:

  • It is not possible to secure a suitable institutional licence
  • It has a substantial cost implication

As always, Library staff will do their best to ensure that the University community has access to the online resources you require.

Following lockdown, the Library has accelerated the purchase of e-books to help with remote study and research; according to the latest figures, we have purchased an additional 800 e-books. If you have submitted a request for an e-book, rest assured we are working hard to fulfil all requests received. Please note we are dealing with a variety of publishers, complex licensing and pricing models, and in some cases, material is simply unavailable for us to purchase. Where possible we will work with libraries across the sector to leverage collective buying power.

Siobhán Dunne (Sub Librarian Teaching, Research & User Experience)
Arlene Healy (Sub Librarian Digital Systems & Services)

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)

Thursday, 9 January: 9:00-13:00 – No off-campus access to e-journals, e-books and databases

The service providing off-campus access to e-journals, e-books and databases requires an upgrade which will result in service downtime on Thursday, 9 January between 9:00 and 13:00. During the downtime period, it will not be possible to access subscription e-journals, e-books and databases off-campus. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes. The upgrade is necessary to ensure stability of the service and must be completed during business hours.

E-journals, e-books and databases will continue to be accessible on-campus using your preferred search engine, e.g. Google or Bing (excluding Google Scholar). Simply search for the e-resource, such as JSTOR, using the search engine from a PC on-campus.

During the downtime period, it will not be possible to access e-journals, e-books and databases on-campus via the Library Catalogue, Stella Search or Library webpages.

If you have any queries, please contact the Library at library@tcd.ie.

Elsevier ScienceDirect e-journal service: January 2020 update on negotiations for access

Negotiations with Elsevier regarding access to the Science Direct e-journal service for 2020 across the Irish Consortium of universities and institutes of technology are continuing; the engagement is constructive and progress is being made. On that basis, a memorandum of understanding has been signed to ensure that access continues until 30 January 2020 while discussions are ongoing. A further update will be issued later this month. If you require any further information, please contact Arlene Healy (Member, ScienceDirect Negotiation Group and Sub Librarian (Digital Systems and Services) by e-mail: arhealy@tcd.ie.

Background Summary

  • Agreement was reached in March 2019 to provide ScienceDirect access throughout 2019 across the Irish Consortium of Universities and Institutes of Technology. This was an interim agreement to continue with the existing subscription model but on conditions which met the negotiating conditions of the Consortium (the LIBER Principles).
  • The Consortium is seeking a deal for 2020 and beyond which will combine immediate global Open Access to articles published by its members on the ScienceDirect platform with continued access to the rest of the content published by Elsevier on ScienceDirect, currently encompassing over 1500 journals.

ScienceDirect and the complex issues around Open Access are an important part of the conversation around Open Scholarship. Please take a look at the Open Scholarship website, which includes sections from ‘Demystifying Open Scholarship’ to how Trinity is responding to Open Scholarship.

History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450-1800: Trinity’s Free Online Course

Following on from Trinity College Dublin’s highly successful FutureLearn course on the ‘Book of Kells’, this course on the ‘History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450-1800’ aims to share the rich resources of the Long Room of Trinity College Dublin and the Edward Worth Library, Dublin, with learners interested in the history of the book. Many of these resources have been newly digitized for this course and uncover this fascinating time of innovation and social change.

Now members of the public around the world can explore how books were made, bought, sold, and read, in a four-week online course. The History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450-1800 course starts on November 18th, 2019, and is run in partnership with FutureLearn, the social learning platform. The free online course is aimed at anyone with an interest in the history of the printed book, the early modern book trade, the history of reading, the history of bookbinding, and the interaction between print and social change in early modern Europe.

Librarian of the Edward Worth Library Elizabethanne Boran, and one of the course designers commented: “This MOOC course is our way of sharing our wonderful collections with as many people as possible. Trinity College Dublin and the Edward Worth Library have thousands of books which bring to life the early modern period in the West. For this course we have digitized images from these books so that learners will be able to explore this fascinating period from every corner of the world.”

Learners will investigate rare treasures such as the engravings of Anthony Van Dyck, early editions of Aesop’s Fables and the bestselling Nuremberg Chronicle. Frontispieces, title pages, annotations, printers’ devices, and many more parts of the book are examined from this period. At the end of the course, learners will be able to describe how the early modern book trade operated, and understand how the invention of the printing press changed religious, scientific, medical and political views of the world.

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has been designed by academics from the School of Histories and Humanities, the School of English, and the Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin, with assistance from the staff of the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the Edward Worth Library, Trinity’s Digital Collections and Trinity Online Services CLG.

New Resource: SciFinder-n

Studying Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics, Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Sciences?

The library has access to SciFinder-n, a new interface to SciFinder Scholar.

Current SciFinder users should login with their established SciFinder username and password.
Top Tip: Current users should migrate their saved answers and alerts (Keep Me Posted) from SciFinder to SciFinder-n. Click the Bookmark icon to access the migrate feature found on the Saved Answers page.

SciFinder answer files exported to an external drive in the .akx file format must be imported and saved to SciFinder before they can be migrated to SciFinder-n.
Note: Descriptions are not migrated and some answers may not fully migrate.