Library to operate one-in one-out policy if capacity reached

600 study spaces are to be made available across the Library’s buildings from July 20

The Library of Trinity College Dublin (the Library) may introduce a one-in one-out policy if its buildings reach new capacity limits under its phased reopening programme from next week.

Entry to the Library’s buildings, which are reopening on a phased basis from June 29, is to be limited in line with social distancing measures. 

Speaking to Trinity News, a spokesperson for the Library outlined that “once the limit in each building is reached (which can be determined from our RFID security panels), we would implement a one-in/one-out policy, very much as supermarkets are doing”.

On Monday, Trinity’s library announced that they would begin a “phased” reopening of the library over the coming months. 

Kinsella Hall, which is the 1st floor of the Ussher Library, is set to reopen on June 29 as an unsupervised study space for researchers, as part of the first phase of the Library’s reopening.

There will be approximately 30 study spaces available in Kinsella Hall during its initial reopening, according to the Library’s spokesperson. However, they stated that this will be “reviewed” due to subject to demand and whether social distancing measures can be accommodated at this capacity. 

The Library has been closed since March 12 at 6pm, when the government announced all schools and colleges were to close to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking on whether the Library will operate at a limited capacity, the spokesperson stated that in the next phase, which will run from July 20 to August 10, they plan to open all modern reading rooms.

“We would be looking at 1/5 of the normal capacity, which would mean approximately 600 spaces across all sites,” they continued. 

The phased reopening is to begin alongside the commencement of Phase 3 in the government’s plan for reopening society.

The second phase of reopening the Library will commence from July 20, with the Berkeley/Lecky/Ussher complex, the Hamilton Library and the John Stearne Medical Library opening on a limited basis to give readers access to study spaces and the ability to borrow books using the self-issue kiosks.

Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton, stated: “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,” she continued. “All of this will be complemented by a range of new online services starting on June 29th through to August.”

Shenton added: “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.”

The Library stated that all opening hours of different phases of the reopening will be confirmed in due course. 

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.