Hamilton Library to close while others operate on reduced hours

This morning, College announced that Library hours were to be pared back from January 22, with the Hamilton Library to close temporarily

This morning, College announced through an email to students that new arrangements regarding the Library were to come into effect from January 22, following the recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

As exams finish on January 22, College will instigate new arrangements for student access to the Library. The focus on these arrangements will be to balance the “provision for Library users” with the health and safety of Library staff and students. 

These new arrangements come off the back of the recent surge of cases in Covid-19, following the relaxation of restrictions over Christmas.

New arrangements include the reduction of opening hours in the Berkeley, Ussher and Lecky libraries, with opening hours being reduced from 09:00-18:00 to 13:00-17:00 and Service Counters being closed throughout the week. All services in these libraries will be closed on weekends.

Likewise, The Hamilton Library and John Stearne Medical Library will close from January 22. However, material from these libraries will still be available through the ‘Click and Collect’ service.

In her email to students earlier today, Helen Shenton thanked library staff for their role in allowing Library study spaces to remain open throughout the Christmas break, the first time this has occurred, despite the sharp rise in cases of Covid-19.

Shenton went on to describe current arrangements set in place to help students studying for exams which began on January 1, detailing the information available on the Library website, such as booking a seat and ‘Click and Collect’ services.

According to the email, Kinsella Hall will operate as a study space from 08:00-22:00, 7 days a week along with the Public Theatre (Examination Hall). 

The 1937 Reading Room will operate at the same times as a study space for postgraduate students.

Pre-booking remains a requirement for all spaces and the ‘Click and Collect’ service will operate each afternoon, from Monday to Friday from the Berkeley Library. Scan on Demand, An Post deliveries and Book Bins will all remain available.

The email recommends students to visit the ‘Plan your visit’ website for all details on the services listed and to visit the Library website for all information on Library opening hours, as well as to place bookings.

These updates were echoed by Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) Education Officer, Megan O’Connor, who tweeted that “The Hamilton Library and John Stearne Medical Library will close but the material from these libraries will remain available, requested via the ‘Click and Collect’ service”.

O’Connor also informed students that “Student Breakout Spaces and Online Class spaces will continue”, and that any student who cannot physically come to campus “can place a request for up to 5 books at a time to be posted to you free of charge”.

She added: “The Library is also offering scanned copies of print book chapters and journal articles. The files will be made available for download from OneDrive via a link and will remain available for download for 7 days.”

O’Connor continued that she appreciates the disappointment students will likely feel regarding the new arrangements but assures students that TCDSU and it’s officers will “continue to work with the Library to ensure the continued availability of library services and improve access to as much as is possible”.

The email also contains updates in regards to The Old Library Redevelopment Project, Virtual Library Trinity, Director’s Choice Uncut, New Long Room Sculptures and the Digital Collections and Digital Preservation.

The situation regarding new arrangements is being kept under constant review in accordance with changes concerning the pandemic.

This article was amended at 11:11 on January 19, to correct a mistake that stated the BLU Library hours were being reduced to 13:00-15:00. The operating hours for the Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher Library is now 13:00-17:00 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.



Jamie Cox

Jamie Cox is current News Analysis Editor for Trinity News and previously served as Higher Education Correspondent. He is a Junior Sophister Ancient and Medieval History and Culture student.