Library to scrap social distancing and booking system on October 22

Access to all 3,000 seats is to be restored in time for Reading Week

All Trinity libraries will return to full capacity and no longer require students to make bookings starting on Friday October 22, just before the beginning of Reading Week.

All 3,000 library seats can be used from October 22.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union President Leah Keogh made the announcement in a tweet this afternoon, and a spokesperson for Trinity has confirmed the decision.

Keogh said that “mask wearing will continue” and that students are “encouraged” to use Ireland’s contact tracing app.

A College spokesperson said that Library users “may be asked” to use the app “depending on the details of guidance received from Government”.

There will be two exceptions to the lifting of restrictions. The 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room will retain a booking system “at the request of the Graduate Students’ Union”.

Additionally, the Joint Research Collections Reading Room will also require users to book ahead their visit, “due to preparatory works for the Old Library Redevelopment Project”.

“Enabling works” to bring the Library back to full capacity will begin on Monday October 18. During this time, reduced seating capacity, physical distancing and booking requirements will remain in place.

Throughout the pandemic, the library has been operating at severely reduced capacity to maintain distance between active workspaces, with about 700 seats available compared to total usual 3,000.

Students have also been required to book time in the library online, in advance, with evolving restrictions on how much can be booked in a given session.

Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy is the Editor-in-chief of the 68th edition of Trinity News. He is a Computer & Electronic Engineering graduate, and a former Assistant Editor, Online Editor, and Deputy Online Editor.