Trinity students have expressed upset and frustration following the announced short-notice closure of the Ussher and Kinsella libraries.
In an email, the Library informed students and staff that the Ussher Library and Kinsella Hall are due to close next Monday, 15th of May and will remain closed for four weeks.
The email stated that the closure is for “essential works” including “the application of intumescent paint to improve fire protection in the basement and mezzanine levels”.
The closure was described as a “precautionary measure to ensure the safety of staff and readers”.
Students have been instructed to borrow any necessary materials from the Ussher Library by or before the 13th May as “access to books and materials held in the Ussher Library will be extremely limited during the closure period. Requests for materials may be facilitated in “urgent cases only”.
In response to this closure, the Hamilton library will extend its opening hours to 24 hours on weekdays and will open till midnight on weekends. The Hamilton will open at noon on Sundays.
Despite these extensions, the closure of these libraries will still result in there being no 24-hour library access on weekends and no library access at all until noon on Sundays.
This closure presents a significant inconvenience for many Trinity students as examinations for the School of Medicine and School of Dentistry are still ongoing or have yet to begin.
Speaking to Trinity News, a second year medicine student expressed frustration at the announcement.
“The 12 o’clock opening [of the Hamilton library] on Sunday is a joke to be honest like we’re in the most stressful time of our year so we can’t afford to have 12 o’clock lie-ins on a Sunday. If this happened a month ago there would have been uproar but now that it’s only a minority it doesn’t seem to matter.”
“I think it’s so unfair especially for people who have no access to study spaces at home, like the library is the only option.”
Another student echoed similar sentiments regarding the closure: “For high intensity courses like med and dentistry, a large proportion of us use the library as our main study space. It’s feel inconsiderate and unfair that we don’t get a smooth finish to the year and there’s disruption to students normal study environment.”
Another medicine student claimed the library closure was indicative of the wider problem of lack of facilities for students who have yet to finish their studies for this academic year.
“There’s a lack of indoor seating, lunch and dinner areas and group study spaces [on campus], especially for people who don’t have a study space at home. Also the arts block being closed on weekends and only open at limited times now that the “academic year” is over.”
“College has essentially shut down for summer. Even though we are in a minority, we are still here and exam season is difficult enough without the disruption. Not that we can’t adapt but it’s just that it adds another strain onto us during exam season.”
The Ussher Library and Kinsella Hall are due to reopen on June 11.