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.

In accordance with the  government roadmap, there will be controlled resumption of activities.The re-opening will commence with one floor of Kinsella Hall in the Ussher Library on June 29th, followed by the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton and John Stearne libraries on July 20th. Access to all Library reading rooms (as well as the Book of Kells exhibition), will resume on August 10th. In the meantime, several new services will be introduced including ‘Click and Collect’, ‘Scan on Demand’ and a postal delivery service to support researchers working remotely from June 29th onwards.

Access will be provided to the following:

  • Kinsella Hall will reopen from June 29th as an unsupervised study space for researchers.
  • The Berkeley/Lecky/Ussher complex, the Hamilton Library and the John Stearne Medical Library will open from July 20th on a limited basis to give readers access to study spaces and the ability to borrow books using the self-issue kiosks.
  • Research Collections’ Early Printed Books and Manuscripts & Archives reading rooms will reopen from August 10th on a limited basis, as will the Long Room exhibitions.
  • All libraries will be open from August 10th.

 New Services

The following new and free services will also be introduced from June 29th onwards:

  • Click and Collect –this new service will enable the online ordering of selected print books from the modern collections. The items will be provided for collection from a designated point to be confirmed.
  • Scan on Demand –this new service will enable the ordering of digitised scans of print books and journal articles from the Library’s modern collections where copyright rules allow. The files will be made available on an online platform.
  • Book delivery service –The Library will also launch a temporary book delivery service for Trinity researchers in Ireland who are not in a position to drop by the main campus. Requests will be placed via an online form on the Library website and the requested materials will be posted out.

For more details on all of these services and regular updates please check our Academic Continuity Guide.

Safety protocols

In implementing Trinity’s overall health and safety guidelines and HSE guidelines the Library is working with College’s Estates and Facilities and Health and Safety, to ensure that all appropriate measures will be in place, ensuring a safe working and studying environment.

The Library will resume and expand services on a phased and gradual basis, spread over five distinct phases. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks but transition from one phase to the next will only take place following a review by the Library, and in the light of the evolving national position and the government’s COVID 19 guidelines.

A series of safety protocols will be implemented in the reopening process, including social distancing; controlled access to reading rooms (numbers of people; demarcated 2 metre distance and routes); physical protection (perspex, masks); cleaning and hygiene regimes and book quarantine measures.

Training will be provided in all these health and safety protocols for staff before returning to work, as well as Library users who are accessing the Library.

The Library will be prioritising its reopening for Trinity students and staff. This will be extended to external users as soon as that is possible. All notification in relation to the phased reopening of the physical Library will be continuously updated on the  Academic Continuity Guide. and promoted through our social media channels.