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 LorettoCurley who also retired in 2020.
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.
As part of the enabling works for the Old Library Redevelopment Project, a stock relocation project has commenced in the Ussher Library basement. The goal of the project is to clear the Ussher basement so that it can be redesigned as a temporary home for the Early Printed Books and Manuscripts & Archives departments while the Old Library is decanted and renovated.
The Ussher basement stock relocation project will involve temporary restrictions on access to selected collections. Full details and updates are available on the Library’s ‘Plan your visit‘ webpage.
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.
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.
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
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 email@example.com
Along with the Berkeley and Lecky Libraries, the Hamilton and John Stearne Medical Libraries will be available during specified hours for browsing, borrowing and studying from Tuesday 6 April. Pre-booking remains essential.
On the anniversary of the first lockdown, the Library of Trinity College Dublin has launched an online exhibition showcasing children’s drawings, poems, diaries and fictional accounts in response to lockdown, 2020.
“One of this Library’s initiatives, in response to the first lockdown in March 2020, was a rapid-response archives collecting project called Living in Lockdown. The Library wanted to capture a snapshot of peoples’ lived experience, so that the voices of private individuals would form part of the future historical record of the Covid-19 pandemic. Out of the hundreds of submissions some of the most moving (and entertaining) were those submitted by school children, working with the Trinity Access Programme. We would like to mark the anniversary with some of the children’s work which has been curated for this online exhibition,” explained the Librarian and College Archivist of Trinity College Dublin, Helen Shenton.
The Library’s Dr Jane Maxwell who led the research said: “It is notoriously difficult to ensure that children’s own voices are preserved through time in the historical record. It can be expected that these children’s records will continue to add vigour and colour to future research focusing on the experience of the pandemic in Ireland.”
Individual children’s works were submitted from the earliest days of the project.
The Trinity Access Programme, in association with the Library and with Children’s Books Ireland, initiated a primary-schools competition. Children were invited to submit any form of record − it could be written or drawn, it could be a diary, a fictional account, a poem − with the chance of a prize. Submissions would be collected by the Library to be added to our primary-source research collections.
Most of the work submitted was produced in June 2020, when it appeared as though lockdown conditions were coming to an end. The schoolchildren’s works were submitted in the form of photographs, and parents have been encouraged to send in the originals.
There are a few distinctive themes to be observed among the children’s works, the key ones being the closure of schools, the absence of family members, and the inability to play with friends. The children wrote in their entries:
“Things haven’t been great and everything was sad and dreadful since [we] had to stay home from school….Sometimes I feel like that there was no escape from this. I also never seen my friends and it was a bit lonely sometimes.’”
“… the worst thing about it is we could not hug our mum or kiss her as she works as a frontliner in a … hospital … [and] the house it was like a prison cell.”
“I was very sad and confused as I am only 11. I though[t] pandemics only happened in movies. The most saddest part was not being able to see my Dad and my grandparents for 3 months.”
“I ring my nana every day. I also get worried in case my Mam, brothers or any one in in my family gets the virus but espec my brother … because he has more of a chance of dieing because he has diabeties.”
“Loneliness is another thing. I always thought of myself as a loner. I’m shy and avoid talking to new people. But I need a social life!! … At this point I’m desperate to see people.”
A distinction can be made between the children who have internalised adult concerns and language and those who speak in a recognisably youthful register. Examples from the children’s entries are:
“We remembered how to live and how to laugh. Our planet started to breath more and in the evening we could see very well the stars.”
“I believe this pandemic is a punishment from God because people are not doing his will anymore.”
“We prefer the world we have found in this horrible lockdown than the one we have created without thinking about what we were doing.”
“I would like to thank God for … giving so good ideas, intelligence to the people in the government …”
“Living though [Covid ] is like living through the world’s most boring apocalypse movie ever.”
“I will never say I am bored again. I was only truly bored when Coronovirus said ‘hi’.”
“Working from home is better because you have constant access to the fridge.”
“Things I’ve learnt … going to Penn[e]y’s every week is NON-ESSENTIAL. (I know, I know I was a bit surprised myself).”
Winners of the competition were awarded personal book prizes, selected by Childrens’ Books Ireland, or a workshop for their class with an artist or a children’s author. The winners of the workshop prizes were the assumption Senior Girls’ School in Walkinstown, and the Francis St CBS in the Liberties.