Kinsella Hall, Trinity’s library that is usually open 24 hours a day, will fully reopen next Monday, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Leah Keogh confirmed on Twitter.
Speaking to Trinity News, Keogh explained that “consistent lobbying by the SU on various Covid committees and conversations with library staff has helped us to achieve a positive outcome.”
According to Keogh, College had previously pushed back against lobbying to extend opening hours in Kinsella Hall due to the need to steward the area overnight and difficulties monitoring Covid regulations. With the easing of restrictions, stewarding in the library will no longer be necessary from next week.
Keogh emphasised the necessity of a 24 hour library: “Students have made clear that the reopening of the 24 hour library was a necessity especially with reading week just around the corner and so we’re thrilled to have it reopen.”
This has not been the only change in restrictions recently; the entrance to the Lecky library in the Arts Building was also reopened last Monday. The SU was also involved in lobbying to reopen this door and “communicated the importance of its reopening via the same channels as we did the 24 hour library”, according to Keogh.
These changes are the last steps in returning the Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher libraries to their pre-Covid arrangements. Following the complete closure of the campus in March 2020, College has been slowly phasing out restrictions since June 2020.
Throughout the last academic year and most of last semester, the Library operated under an online booking system with minimal capacity for social distancing. In October 2021, access to all 3,000 seats in the Library was restored when the online booking system and social distancing measures were removed.
Opening hours have also slowly been extended in the Library throughout the past two years.
Kinsella Hall, a section of the Ussher Library, was reopened along with the libraries but operated under reduced hours that were slowly extended over the course of the last two years.
This article was updated on 2 March 2022 at 3:30pm to include a statement from TCDSU President Leah Keogh.