Library Response to COVID Level 5

The Provost and Secretary to the College wrote to us yesterday, about the universities being categorised as essential (as identified on the Department of the Taoiseach’s website see Education).

The libraries are essential to the research infrastructures during COVID Level 5, both for access to physical material for researchers and students, and as a safe, calm environment with good connectivity, especially for students.

Minister Simon Harris’ press release yesterday entitled ‘What Level 5 means for Further and Higher Education’ included ‘scheduled access to libraries and other onsite study space for those students who do not otherwise have suitable facilities or home environment to access learning remotely’.

Therefore, balancing supporting the research infrastructure and supporting undergraduates and postgraduates with ensuring our staff’s wellbeing, the libraries will remain open online and continue to be physically open to current staff and students with effect from midnight tonight as follows;

  • Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher Libraries. Online booking. Open Monday to Friday 9am-6pm
  • Hamilton Library. Online booking. Open Monday to Friday 9am-6pm
  • Joint Research Collections Reading Room in the Old Library. By appointment. Mondays and Thursdays.
  • John Stearne Medical Library. Online booking. Open Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
  • 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room. Online booking. Open Monday to Sunday 8am-8pm
  • Kinsella Hall. Online booking. From Tuesday 27th October 2020, open for study from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am-8pm Saturday and Sunday.

Readers will continue to need to book in advance to gain entry to the Library. To book a visit, please use the ‘book a visit’ link on the Library homepage or go straight to the booking system via this direct link. Existing bookings remain valid except for those outside the new hours detailed above, namely, evenings and Saturdays (the 1937 Reading Room opening hours remain the same so all existing bookings remain valid).

There is access to reading room PCs with UK electronic Legal Deposit material, printing, book retrieval and returns. In addition, the new services of ‘scan on demand’, ‘click and collect’‘An Post delivery’ across Ireland continue. We will keep all services under review, and please bear with us if everything is not quite as smooth as usual.

For enquiries, please use our Live Chat facility on the Library website, email Library@tcd.ie and a library staff member will get back to you, or contact your subject librarian directly.

As the Trinity Education Project is celebrated today, a reminder to those students embarking on a capstone project now and in the future, that the Library is a goldmine of material and expertise for your research. Current projects range from the Pollard Collection of Childrens’ books with the School of English to systematic reviews in Human Health and Disease with the School of Medicine. Please contact your Subject Librarian and Research Collections to discuss how the Library can support your research.

Finally, on your behalf, may I pay tribute to the Library staff and other colleagues across College from security to cleaning staff to postgraduate stewards, who are making this level of access to the libraries possible during Covid-19 Level 5.

With best wishes,

Helen Shenton

Librarian and College Archivist

Welcome from the Library of Trinity College Dublin

 A very warm welcome to all students, academics, researchers and staff. An especial welcome to the first year students who are joining us in such extraordinary times − we wish you every success in the University, as you rise to the challenges of Trinity’s Graduate Attributes of ‘thinking independently’ and ‘acting responsibly’. The Library is here to help you think independently.

Library staff are here to assist you with virtual consultations, skills workshops and many services. Watch out for Library HITS (Helpful Information for Trinity Students/Staff) our interdisciplinary taster sessions, co-delivered with Student Learning & Development, covering everything from getting started with the Library, to academic integrity and critical thinking. We’ve recently been proud to partner with Disability Student Ambassadors to deliver small-group tours for students with sensory disabilities, which is helping us better understand how to improve the Library experience for all students.

Library staff are not only very knowledgeable about Trinity’s extensive resources but are extremely savvy about other external sources of information. During lockdown, when there was no physical access to the buildings, Library staff displayed extraordinary ingenuity in helping readers get alternative access to information. Please contact us via live chat on the Library website, email Library@tcd.ie and a Library staff member will get back to you, or contact your Subject Librarian directly. Our New Students page has everything you need to get started.

COVID update

On lockdown in March, the Library accelerated online access to material and increased e-resources. Since June, the Library has reopened all the buildings in phases and has created several new services from scratch. These include ‘Click & Collect’, ‘Scan on Demand’, and retrieval and delivery of Library material across Ireland via An Post.

Under the current COVID-19 Level 3, all the libraries are open. Today, 5th October, a new booking system for the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton and John Stearne Medical libraries and the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room begins. Full details are online of all the opening hours and the booking system. Please note that face coverings are mandatory in the Library at all times, along with all other COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including two-metre social distancing and a ‘keep right’ policy.

The Library has been very active over the last six months in building an archive reflecting the TCD community’s experience of living with a pandemic. We are shortly going to invite students to add to this archive by giving us their impressions of student life under the new arrangements. There will be prizes!

E-resources

The Library purchases e-journals, e-books and databases to support your learning and research. Our off-campus access page provides information and tools to ensure you can access these resources seamlessly.

This year, transformative Open Access agreements were negotiated through the IReL Consortium which will allow for the publication of articles by authors from member institutions on an open access basis at no additional cost. The IReL Consortium (Irish Research e-Library) provides Irish higher education institutions, including Trinity, with access to over 40,000 e-journals and other information resources. The first of these transformative agreements was signed with the global scientific and health publisher Elsevier to support open access for research in Ireland.

ORCID

In a joint initiative between the Dean of Research and the Library, Trinity has joined the Irish ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) Consortium, which is part of a co-ordinated approach to the adoption and integration of ORCID services and resources in Ireland, directed by the Higher Education Authority.

Every researcher has free access to, and use of, an ORCID ID linked to a personal ORCID research profile. As a unique, lifelong digital identifier, a researcher’s ORCID ID reliably connects them with their works, awards, affiliations; it alleviates mistaken identity; each researcher owns and controls their record; it saves time as the information is ‘entered once and reused often’ and further integrates ORCID with Trinity’s Research Support System. We would encourage academic and research staff and students to use their unique ORCID ID, see full details and ORCID registration.

Open Scholarship

Over the last year ‘Unboxing Open Scholarship’, an initiative of the Taskforce on Open Scholarship, welcomed over 750 people to 12 events on subjects ranging from Citizen Science to Research Impact & Evaluation in an Open Scholarship era, to ‘Curing the Pathologies of Academic Publishing’ with the co-founder of PLOS (Public Library of Science).

Our final events are shifting online. On October 8th 2020, we will be joined by Professor Margot Finn, President of the Royal Historical Society (RHS) and University College London’s Chair in Modern British History, for a webinar jointly hosted with Trinity Long Room Hub, on ‘Open Scholarship in the Humanities’. On October 15th, Gareth O’Neill, Open Science Consultant at the Technopolis Group will explore the role of researchers in the European Open Science Cloud.

The aims of the Taskforce on Open Scholarship were to take the temperature of how far Trinity should go along the road to Open Scholarship (what is obligatory? where do we actively follow? where do we lead?); to determine the scope of Open Scholarship (including Open Access and Citizen Science); and to identify steps and cultural change, including by curating events such as ‘Unboxing Open Scholarship’. The recommendations will shortly be presented to help advance the strategic objective in the University’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025, namely to ‘Lead on Open Scholarship and promote Open Access publication’.

 New Treasury and Book of Kells display case and the Old Library Redevelopment Project

A recent highlight has been the re-opening of the newly refurbished Treasury and Book of Kells display case. The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin TD, joined by her husband, Deputy Francis Noel Duffy, visited the new Treasury earlier this month, and we publicly launched the new Treasury – see Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1; RTE 1 Television One O’clock News; 6.01 News  (Scroll to  17.34 ); RTE News YouTubeRTE online; BBC Evening Extra (scroll to 1.49), Irish Times hardcopy & online version; Irish Independent hardcopy & online; and Irish Central  – among others.

When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, please arrange to visit the Book of Kells in its stunning new display case, by emailing the Visitor Services Team bookofkells@tcd.ie who will organise a ticket.

The new Treasury is the first step of the Old Library Redevelopment Project, one of the major capital projects of Inspiring Generations – The Campaign for Trinity College Dublin. The Old Library Redevelopment Project is a very significant undertaking to conserve and protect the Old Library and its collections, to create a new Research Collections Study Centre, and to create a new exhibition, temporary display space and new visitor facilities. The integrated design, by the award-winning architects Heneghan Peng, was approved by Board in the summer to apply for planning permission to Dublin City Council.

Virtual Trinity Library

This coming year will also see progress on components of the Library’s second capital programme, the digital corollary to the Old Library project, namely the ‘Virtual Trinity Library’. By digitising the Library’s vast unique and distinct collections, we aim to create a new research entity that is open for the world. Funding has been secured from the Dutch Government to start the Fagel Collection Project in collaboration with the Royal Library of the Netherlands, and inaugural activities and events will start in the autumn.

As part of the flagship Virtual Trinity Library programme, the Library’s digitised collections will be made available in the new Digital Collections repository. We invite you to explore some of our more well-known treasures as well as many hidden gems in all their magnificent detail on this new platform.

And finally

A library is many things. It is both virtual and physical. Mary Beard recently described a library as ‘really, really edgy’ saying that ‘what is on the shelves is incendiary’. The Bodleian Librarian Richard Ovenden’s recently published Burning Books is a harsh reminder of the symbolism and political threat that libraries can represent. The library as physical sanctuary was brutally reinforced during lockdown.

When we had to close, the role of the Library as a safe oasis, with very good connectivity, conducive to study in the maelstrom of noise and worry, came sharply into focus. I was incredibly moved by the accounts of the plights of, for example, postgraduates and their descriptions of the Library as a haven where they could think and concentrate.

Whichever version of the virtual and/or physical Library you use, I wish you every success in the coming academic year.

 

Helen Shenton

Librarian & College Archivist

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

Pomodoro Sphere

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”

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.

EPB Reading Room – Temporary Move to the Map Library from 4 November

As part of overall conservation and preservation plans for the Old Library, the display area for the Book of Kells is undergoing necessary works which will require the removal of the manuscript from November 4th until March, 2020.

Regrettably during this period we anticipate some disruption to the Early Printed Books Reading Room, due to noise caused by ongoing works. Readers will be accommodated in the Map Library, in the basement of the Ussher Library, from the afternoon of Monday November 4th for at least two weeks. We will keep you updated on the Library news page, the Early Printed Books opening hours webpage and the Research Collections twitter account.

We apologise for any inconvenience and disruption caused.

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.