Trinity to reduce library study capacity to enable “social distancing”

The library have said they are looking for alternative study spaces across College

The number of study spaces in Trinity’s libraries will be reduced to allow for “social distancing” in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Caoimhe Ní Lochlainn, Trinity’s Head of Library Communications, confirmed to Trinity News that the library is “looking at how best to implement the guidelines on social distancing, with the recommended 1 metre between our readers”.

She added that “this will reduce capacity in the Library and the University will be looking at alternative spaces elsewhere in the College for study”.

In an email to all staff and students last night, Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, said that “the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher (BLU) Libraries, the Hamilton Library, the John Stearne Medical Library, the Early Printed Books and Manuscript Reading Rooms are all open and operating with the usual opening hours”.

She also stated that the library would implement some measures in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Aside from social distancing these include “encouraging the use of self-service machines and book return bins” and “encouraging online renewals via My Library Account”.

Yesterday Trinity took the decision to move all lectures online, while some schools within College have taken the decision to cancel all in-person classes.

For all departments where tutorials seminars and labs are continuing as usual, Trinity recommends maintaining “social distancing protocols” of several feet in order to minimise the risk of close contact and infection.

The first case of coronavirus within Trinity was confirmed last Thursday. The fourth floor and lifts of the Trinity Biomedical Science Institute (TBSI) were closed as a precaution. Hand sanitisers have been provided across campus and in off-campus locations in a bid to prevent a possible spread of infection. College has placed posters across campus with information on the virus, and has established a dedicated web page to provide updates and advice.

Trinity set up an expert working group to monitor the ongoing situation with the coronavirus in January.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.