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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Plan your Library visit: The basics

Latest updates (reviewed 01/10/2021)

A warm welcome to new and returning students!

The Library is delighted to welcome all new and returning students. We have been working hard to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all readers.  Please see our opening hours page for details. 

**Please remember to pre-book a seat or quick visit on the Library booking system to gain access to any Library building. Bookings are limited to 1 hour 45 minutes and consecutive bookings are now possible. Seats are currently spaced at 2 metres but this will change from Friday 22 October (see below)** 

There will be no access for external readers until further notice.


From Friday 22 October the Booking System will be suspended and there will be no social distancing in the Library

As part of the Provost’s second phase of the Return to Campus plan, and in line with the Government’s reopening plans, the Library will be removing social distancing, the booking system and time-limited slots from Friday 22 October. This involves reinstating approximately 2,300 seats, bringing the Library back to full capacity in time for students to have full use of the Library for Reading Week and beyond.

Please remain vigilant and ensure that all safety protocols are followed. The requirement for face coverings will remain in place and Library stewards will continue to monitor compliance. Depending on the details of guidance received from the Government, readers may be asked to use the COVID Tracker app for contact tracing purposes.

Enabling works to reinstate seats will take place during the week commencing 18 October. This will be carried out area by area, with the aim of minimising disruption.

Please note the following exceptions: at the request of the Graduate Students’ Union, the booking system will remain in place in the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room. The Joint Research Collections Reading Room will also maintain a booking system for the time being, due to preparatory works for the Old Library Redevelopment Project.

In the period leading up to Friday 22 October, 2 metre social distancing will continue to apply and bookings will still be required to enter Library buildings.


Library services update

  • The opening hours of service counters in the BLU Complex and Hamilton Library is now 10am - 3.30pm each day (Monday to Friday). Staff will be on hand to help with queries and Click & Collect pick-ups.  

  • The online “Chat with us” service (available through the Library website) is active from from 10am to 12 noon, and from 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

  • The Subject Librarian team is available for virtual consultations and electronic resources continue to be accessible remotely;

  • In light of the reopening of campus and the demands on staff to provide counter services, the Scan on Demand and Postal Delivery services have been suspended until further notice.


Normal borrowing rules apply. Please return your books on time!

To deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic, especially in relation to physical access, the Library extended loan due dates a number of times over the last year or so. This approach is now being phased out and standard borrowing rules will apply again. This means that if your book goes overdue, you must return it to avoid your account being blocked or fines accruing. Please respect the needs of others and return your books on time. The notices sent from the Library system will make it clear when loans needs to be returned and you can also check the status of loans via your Library account.


Ussher Library Basement Stock Relocation Project

The Library is carrying out a major stock relocation project in the Ussher Library basement as part of the enabling works for the Old Library Redevelopment Project. This will involve ongoing temporary access restrictions to selected collections. For more details please see our project information page.

COVID-19 Safety Measures in the Library

To ensure the safety of all staff and readers, the following measures will remain in place until further notice:

  • To access the Library you must pre-book a seat or quick visit slot. The maximum duration of a seat booking is 1 hour & 45 minutes. Quick visit slots (not tied to specific seats) are limited to 15 minutes per slot. Back-to-back seat bookings are possible but not in the same space. If you wish to place multiple seat bookings, you will need to move to a different space (i.e. a different floor or a different building) each time. Further details here.
  • Readers must wear face coverings in all Library spaces for the full duration of their visit
  • Readers are required to maintain 2 metre social distancing in the reading rooms. We also ask that readers do not move chairs. They have been carefully placed to maximise your safety and their locations are recorded on our 3D Floorplan system
  • The Library provides hand sanitiser and spray for cleaning study spaces at key locations throughout the reading rooms. Please wipe on and wipe off before and after you use a study desk or PC
  • Readers should feel free to browse and use books from the open shelves. When finished with a book, it should be placed on the nearest available trolley. Books should *not* be re-shelved - Library staff will take care of this
  • To return a book, please use the self-issue kiosks or book drops. Staff have been instructed not to accept returns at the service counters.
  • If you wish to view a consultation-only item again the following day, please return it via a self-issue kiosk or book drop and then place a request for it on the Library catalogue, Stella Search (you may need to wait a few hours for the book to become visible again on the catalogue for request).
  • When leaving the building, please ensure that all books are removed from your study desk and placed on trolleys. This will make the job of cleaning the reading rooms easier and safer for Housekeeping staff

An overview of the Library booking system

The basics

  • Bookings can be placed 5 days in advance
  • You must use your Trinity email address to place bookings and you should only place bookings for your own use. It is not permitted to place bookings on other people’s behalf or share your booking details with other readers.
  • You will receive an email confirming the details of your booking. If you choose to book a seat, the email will also include:
    • a check-in code to confirm your booking. Failure to check-in will result in the booking being forfeited.
    • a link to 3D Library floorplans to help you locate your seat  
    • a cancellation link if you no longer need the seat
  • To gain entry to the Library, you must present your booking confirmation email. You will also need your student ID card or Trinity Live app.
  • Only book a seat if you really need it and intend to use it. Cancel your booking if you can't make it and please don’t sit at a vacant seat if you have not actually booked it. 
  • Library stewards are stationed at Library entrances to verify bookings. Please have your confirmation email ready for inspection to avoid unnecessary delays.
  • Library stewards will also be present inside reading rooms to perform occasional spot-checks and to ensure that seats remain in their correct socially distanced positions.


Booking options in more detail

  • Bookings can be a minimum of 15 minutes up to a maximum of 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Back-to-back bookings can be made but with a 15 minute break between bookings. We encourage readers to take regular breaks for fresh air. 
  • When you place your booking, you will receive an email confirming the relevant details (e.g. seat location, date, time etc.). In the case of seat bookings, the email will also include a check-in code and a link to a check-in page. To check-in and take possession of your seat, you will need to follow the link and input the code.
  • Check-ins are possible no earlier than 30 minutes before your slot begins and no later than 15 minutes into the booking. If you fail to check-in during this 45-minute window, you will forfeit your booking and the seat will become available for others to book.
  • It is important that you check-in for every booked slot. It is not sufficient to simply check-in for your first slot.
  • Due to high demand for seats in the BLU Complex, Hamilton Library and John Stearne Medical Library, the weekly allowance is capped at 40 hours. This limit does not apply to Kinsella Hall or the 1937 Reading Room.


Have you stopped receiving confirmation emails?


The TCD student email system offers an option to unsubscribe from a sender. If this option is selected in emails from the Library Booking System, you will no longer receive booking confirmation emails, which are required for access to the Library and also contain your check-in code. If you have stopped receiving confirmation emails, you may have unsubscribed. Please contact to have them reinstated. Please note that this may take several days. 



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3D Floorplans