#TCDLIBRARYSURVEY What we’re doing with your feedback

Last year, 1,189 of our readers responded to the Library Life Pulse survey conducted during Ireland’s fourth and strictest lockdown. The findings showed that the impact of the Library on our readers’ wellbeing was significant and up 10% from pre-Covid times to 61%.

We were delighted that you agreed positively with the following statements:

It is easy to access help and support when I am in Library buildings (71%)
The Library offers relevant training and skills support for students and staff (71%)
The Library has the right resources for my course/research degree programme/role (74%)
The Library is helping me to succeed on my course/research degree programme/in my role (76%)
I am satisfied with how the Library communicates with me (74%)

We acknowledge there is room for improvement with the following:

Suitable study/work space is readily available in the Library building(s) (46%)
It is easy to find the location of suitable study/work spaces in the Library building(s) (53%)
It is easy to access help and support when I am using Library services online (50%)
The Library has helped me to develop the skills I need for my studies/role (51%)

How are we acting on your feedback?

The high-level findings of this survey have been shared with the Library’s Leadership team and the university’s Library and Information Policy Committee. In the months following the survey, we have been exploring ideas and discussing solutions to issues you have identified in key areas of Space; Access to Resources; Training and Support and Communications. You can find out more about the survey findings and our action plan here:

We will be consulting with staff and students in making those improvements and will provide updates as they are being implemented.

Trinity unveils sensory spaces to make campus more inclusive

Trinity College Dublin unveiled a series of new spaces on campus that have been designed as supportive sensory environments to meet the needs of students and staff. 

The plans were devised by TCD Sense – The Trinity Sensory Processing Project – which aims to make Trinity more inclusive by reviewing and improving new and existing spaces, building sensory awareness and delivering specialist supports to students who experience barriers to managing and adapting to the sensory environments of college. 

The project currently spans more than 80 study spaces in the Library, sensory areas within four student social spaces, as well as individual sensory rooms. Hundreds of students are using these spaces every day, but much more is to come. 

Since the project was begun in 2019 by staff in the Disability Service and Discipline of Occupational Therapy, TCD Sense has developed strong partnerships with the TCD Students Union, the Trinity Ability Coop, as well as staff in the Library and the science laboratories and with numerous other areas across Trinity.  

Jessica K Doyle, TCD Sense Project Officer, said:  

“We are all sensory beings, and although we may not always be fully aware of it, sensation is everywhere. Sometimes we may crave activity and movement, louder music and natural light and brighter colours. At other times, we might feel extra sensitive and prefer quieter spaces with dim lighting and less going on. Everyone has a unique sensory system and ways of perceiving and processing sensation that can change depending on time, context, mood, energy levels, neurotype & mechanism of perception”. 

Kieran Lewis, Senior Occupational Therapist at Trinity, said: 

“We are focusing on areas which students use most. Over the past number of months, as well as the spaces in the Library, we have designed sensory areas within four student social spaces, as well as individual sensory rooms.  These have been designed to enable students to engage fully in the college environments and to allow for individuals’ different sensory preferences”. 

User experience research by the Library with students highlighted the impact of the sensory environment on wellbeing and productivity; lighting, noise and sanctuary affect student comfort in library spaces, especially students who experience sensory overload and have high awareness of the sensory environment. These findings are reinforced by further research by the Disability Service and Discipline of Occupational Therapy, which included a sensory audit of Library buildings.  

Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist at Trinity, said: 

“As part of this collaborative University initiative TCD Sense, the Library has created six sensory spaces across the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton and Stearne libraries which will support our students and staff with diverse sensory needs. Another five will be completed in the coming weeks.  Based on inclusive research with our students, we have designed a range of environments that will help our readers feel at ease and comfortable while in the Library. We hope they will improve the quality of their experience both in the Library and across the University.” 

In May 2019, 150 students registered with the Disability Service in TCD completed a survey on sensory experiences: 

  • 68% reported that there is no quiet space on campus that they can access easily if feeling overwhelmed 
  • Over 50% commented that they go home/leave campus if feeling overwhelmed 
  • 93% would use a quiet space if it was available in the library 
  • 49% reported difficulty with acoustics (e.g. noises, echoes, humming) in the library 
  • 41% reported difficulty with acoustics in lectures. 

This development is being part funded from a €5.4 million fund for students with disabilities announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris earlier this year. Trinity has used €233,934 of its allocation of €482,364 on these developments. Additional resources of €126,500 have come from the Trinity Library, TCDSU and the Director of Student Services.  

Trinity Provost Linda Doyle welcomed the new spaces:  

“This has been a return to campus like no other, at a time when students and staff have been under unprecedented stress. It’s more important now than ever that everyone in the College community has access to places around the campus where they can find respite to focus, or to relax in peace. The TCD Sense Project is a wonderful addition to our campus and will contribute to the health and wellbeing of all.” 

Trinity Student Union President Leah Keogh said: 

“It has been a joy to work alongside the Disability Service on this project which has uniquely provided quiet spaces in busy places. The attention to detail is what has made this project so effective; the colours, textures and pieces were all hand selected to create the best possible environment for students to take some time out. This project has set the benchmark for what our student spaces should be going forward.” 

Dr Clodagh Nolan, Asst. Professor, Discipline of Occupational Therapy added: 

“Learning and social environments are fraught with sensory information that needs to be processed and managed by individuals. For some it can be overwhelming whereas for others it can be underwhelming. Managing the sensory environment including its design is an important element in enabling a person to learn constructively and to get the most from their day-to-day activities whether those activities include study, research, or social engagement. Real world research into the sensory environment which included all stakeholders in collaboration with the Discipline of Occupational Therapy has enabled us to translate the findings of this research into managing and changing environments to meet the needs of those who are challenged by these environments.”  

Declan Treanor, Director of the Trinity Disability Services, said:  

“We have identified making Trinity a more inclusive place from a sensory perspective as a key aim in The Disability Service’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2025. Plans are underway to look at developing a sensory map of Trinity, including sensory design principles in new developments, as well as adding sensory designed spaces in student accommodation and other spaces that are deemed to be useful to develop. We are looking at indoor and outdoor opportunities. We are also developing a sensory environment evaluation tool in collaboration with Technological University Dublin”.  

More information on the supports and resources available in managing the sensory environment and on the project can be found here.

The Library Pays Tribute to our Friend and one of Ireland’s great poets Brendan Kennelly

Brendan Kennelly Private Collection

It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of our friend and one of lreland’s major poets, Brendan Kennelly.

Brendan Kennelly was a poet, a professor, a public figure, cultural commentator, and a mentor to many.  Throughout his life on the Trinity campus he was also a great friend to the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

Trinity College Dublin honoured his immense contribution to Irish life with a celebratory online event on his 85th birthday in April of this year. The Brendan Kennelly Literary Archive was also launched on the occasion of the event. With the appointment of an archivist in the Library in the Spring to oversee the cataloguing of the poet’s papers, this unique collection will be made available to students and scholars.

The celebratory event which was organised at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, during our last lockdown, featured a read message from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins along with selected poems recited by celebrated singer, Bono, poet, Paula Meehan and Trinity student Lily O’Byrne. We were especially honoured that Brendan himself attended online from Kerry where he spent his final years. The event also prompted members of the public to contribute further items to this constantly expanding archive.

The Brendan Kennelly Literary Archive reflects all of the facets of Brendan Kennelly’s life. His work, with roots in early twentieth-century rural traditions, developed to give a voice to the marginalised urban dweller, as well as difficult historical characters such as Judas and Oliver Cromwell. The poet’s own private life has often involved struggle and triumph, both of which he has shared freely and publicly, giving encouragement to many in their own personal struggles. Professor Kennelly’s teaching influenced generations of scholars, teachers, parents, and citizens and he has always been unfailingly encouraging to younger poets, from Paula Meehan to Leanne O’Sullivan. The collection contains literary drafts, lectures, research materials, reviews, workshop material, works by others, theatrical ephemera, personal material, photographs, memorabilia, and a great quantity of correspondence

The Library’s online exhibition ‘Forever Begin’ draws from the archive and provides wonderful insight into the poet’s life and immense contribution to Irish literary and cultural life over many decades.  

Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.

Wishing departing Library colleagues a long and happy retirement

Pomodoro Sphere

For the second time in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reached September and are unable to mark the imminent retirement of respected colleagues with the traditional celebrations and ceremonies we normally expect and that they deserve. This year, we are saying goodbye to Assumpta Guilfoyle, Sean Breen, and Peter Guilding. Between them, they have given the Library 136 years of service.

Sean (48 years) has worked in Reading Room Services and for many he is the embodiment of the BLU counter. Assumpta (47 years) and Peter (41 years) have worked in Cataloguing (Bibliographic Data Management Department), where they played significant and well-known roles: Keywords, Banned Books and Shared Cataloguing Programme.

They are joined by two colleagues, Paul Doyle and Loretto Curley who also retired in 2020.

Continue reading “Wishing departing Library colleagues a long and happy retirement”

Welcome to all new undergraduate students from the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Dear students,

A very warm welcome to all new undergraduate students starting classes today − we wish you every success in your studies at Trinity. 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 currently mandatory. Pre-booking is required to enter the Library with each individual booking being for 1 hour 45 minutes.

From today, we are also introducing extended opening hours to include evening and Saturday openings in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton Libraries as well as Saturday opening in the John Stearne Medical Library.

Continue reading “Welcome to all new undergraduate students from the Library of Trinity College Dublin”

#TCDLIBRARYSURVEY − A BIG THANK YOU TO TRINITY STAFF AND STUDENTS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK

pop art image of Berkeley Library

We are extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to complete our recent Library Life Pulse survey, particularly as we know how challenging the past sixteen months of the pandemic has been for students and staff. 

Your feedback is helping us to understand readers’ needs and in turn, shape the development of responsive services for the future. Across all user categories, the survey results are revealing improved satisfaction rates for online support and skills development.  

Over the Summer months, we will be analysing the findings in greater detail in order to create an action plan that addresses your feedback. We will provide a further update during Michaelmas term. 

Congratulations to all our survey prize draw winners whose names were selected to win from a selection of Trinity Gift Shop online gift cards; One for All gift vouchers and T-Card credit. A special mention to our overall winners James Deegan and Allison Chambers who were the lucky recipients of Airpods and a Fitbit Tracker respectively. 

Library opening hours from 7 June

The Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher Libraries, the Hamilton Library, and the John Stearne Medical Library will be closed for the Bank Holiday this coming Monday 7 June.

However, Kinsella Hall (all three floors) and Regent House (postgraduates only) will be available, 08:00 to 22:00, Saturday 5 – Monday 7 June inclusive.

Normal summer hours resume on Tuesday 8 June. See our Opening Hours page for details.

Pre-booking remains essential.

Revised opening hours from Monday 26 April

The Berkeley Library

From Monday 26 April, our opening hours are expanding to assist with exam, essay and thesis preparation. If you are finished with your books, please return them so that others may use them.

Our Research Collections Reading Room and Map Library are reopening for two days a week, with consultations strictly be appointment. Opening hours details for all our Library buildings are on our Opening Hours page.

#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