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Academic Continuity for Library Users: FAQs

A Guide to Supports and Services for Working or Studying from Home

(Updated 17-06-2020)

The questions below relate to topics not covered by the 'Resumption of Library Services' page.   

Is there a way I can borrow books from the Library via a drop-off point while the Library buildings are closed? 

This is not currently possible given the nature of the restrictions on access to campus buildings. However, we are offering a number of interim services which may prove useful over the coming weeks and months. Please see our 'Resumption of Library Services' page.

Can I request materials from other libraries on inter-library loan?

Due to the Library being physically closed, print materials cannot currently be supplied on inter-library loan.

However, electronic inter-library loans of journal articles, book chapters or dissertations may be possible on a case-by-case basis. The Library will waive fees for such materials during the COVID 19 closure period. Requests can be made by any registered member of the TCD community (staff and students) via the article request form on the inter-library loan page.

Please note that this service is dependent on other institutions maintaining their document delivery services and as such may be withdrawn at short notice if additional restrictions are implemented. We reserve the right to enforce a cap on requests if demand makes it impossible to fulfil all requests.   

Please check our available resources carefully before sending your request in:

- Stella Search

- A-Z Databases

 I am on placement and have books on loan that are now overdue. What should I do? 

If you are not travelling abroad, or do not need to urgently return a book for some other reason, you can simply hold onto the books you currently have on loan until the Library reopens. Due dates on books that were originally set to be returned during the closure period have been extended to to Friday 11th September 2020 to ensure no fines will accrue. 

For readers who are in a position to drop by the main campus, the Library van will be parked at the Lincoln Place entrance from 12pm - 2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

For final year students who live further afield or who cannot make it to campus, the Library has launched an initiative in collaboration with An Post to facilitate postal returns, free of charge. You can avail of this service here.

What should I do if I can no longer renew a book because I have reached the renewal limit? 

While the libraries are closed, you don’t need to do anything.  Due dates on books that were due to be returned during the closure period have been extended to Friday 11th September 2020. No fines will accrue before this date.

My Library Library account is blocked. Does this mean I can’t access electronic resources off campus? 

You can still access electronic resources off campus if your Library account is blocked.

I am a graduate of the University. Is there any way for me to access the Library’s electronic resources off campus? 

Remote access to Library electronic resources is only available to registered students and staff of the University. This is due to licensing arrangements with our vendors.

I returned a book before the Library closed but it is still on my Library Account. Do I need to do anything to resolve this situation? 

Library staff did their best to process book returns before the Library closed but did not have the time to get through everything. The remaining unprocessed books will be dealt with when Library staff are permitted back on site. In the meantime, these books will remain on borrowers’ accounts, but rest assured they will not accrue fines or lead to Library accounts being blocked.

Can I request remote access to an electronic book or journal article that is normally only available on Library computers?   

This probably refers to an item that we received under UK Legal Deposit legislation. It is part of the legal requirements that these items can only be accessed on dedicated Library computers within Library buildings.  You should contact your Subject Librarian to identify alternative options.

Our plan to re-open Library spaces can be viewed on the Resumption of Library Services page.

Why can I no longer access resources automatically/directly from Google etc. while using TCD’s VPN?

Some essential changes have been made to TCD’s VPN to ensure stability of the service due to the large increase in the volume of users and traffic. Whether logged into the VPN service or not, access to TCD’s subscribed electronic resources off campus uses the same authentication methods. You must use links to the content are provided on any of the Library’s platforms: Stella Search, LibGuides (including our Databases AZ), Browzine etc. Links to content discovered outside of the Library’s services will not be able to recognise you correctly as a member of TCD.

How can I keep up-to-date with latest developments on COVID-19 and its impact on the university? 

The Trinity Community #COVID-19 Information Centre is responding to queries about Trinity College Dublin’s response to COVID-19 at

I want to access the most recent research on the COVID 19 virus. Where can I access authoritative literature and get guidance on my search strategy?

Our colleagues in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have created this guide which includes tips for creating your own search, guidance for healthcare professionals, guidance for the public and clinical summaries.