October Revolution for Library?

Trinity Library faces challenges in the coming months as it struggles to maintain its services and facilities in light of recent budget cuts. The library is hoping that despite these cuts, staffing levels can be maintained and any disruption of services can be kept to a minimum.

The issue of library opening hours is currently under review. Last year, the library agreed to open at weekends with restricted desk service. This is being re-examined to assess whether or not this service can be continued. A comparative study will be conducted to measure the use of the Sunday service by students. However, a decision will not be made until the first meeting of the library Committee, which will take place in mid October.  

Student Union Education Officer, Ashley Cooke, has insisted that the Union will do all it can to ensure that this service remains undisrupted.  He also stressed the importance of a quiet study area for students: “When students are on campus it is essential that they have a comfortable and quiet place to study… this should be through having the library open or a smaller study space available.” The SU will be ensure that any decisions made regarding library opening hours will be put through the proper decision making process. Cooke ensured the SU would take a “dim view” of any decisions that were made without the consultation of the proper committees. The library usually opens on Sundays in Hilary term to facilitate students studying for end of year exams.

Both the improvement of library services and the increase in study space, were key promises in Ashley Cooke’s sabbattical campaign, promises Cooke is determined to keep.

There are also plans in place to open a 24 hour study space on campus. This project is part of the Office of Buildings project list, however it is not yet known where on campus the study area would be made available. Two 24-hour study rooms are currently maintained by the college. One is adjacent to the Ussher Library and the other is the Postgraduate 1937 Reading Room. A third would greatly reduce any inconvenience caused should library opening hours be changed in the coming weeks.

The library website also received a makeover during the summer break. The changeover took place between the 24th of July and the 10th of August and involved transfer of the library catalogue and databases to the new system. The new website has been planned for a number of months and is designed to be more student-friendly and interactive. New features include the ability to tag books for course lists online as well as usual services such as online stack requests and the online catalogue. The website is now much easier to navigate with direct links to popular pages as well as a faster search engine. Links to Myzone mail, WebCT, as well as a facility to bookmark the library site on popular sites such Facebook, Bebo and Twitter are now available. Students no longer require a student number and PIN to log into the catalogue system. Instead, the student’s college username and college network login password will be required.

These details are issued to all Trinity College students and staff when registering in college for the first time and  are the same details students use to log into college-owned computers or when accessing external websites from within the college network. This change will eliminate the need to memorize a PIN and barcode number to access the library system.

Students can access the Library website on www.tcd.ie/Library