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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Academic Continuity for Library Users: Resumption of Library services

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

Latest Updates

Latest updates (as of 22 September 2020):


  • From Monday 05 October, access to the Library will require pre-booking. The booking system is currently under development and will be launched on Wednesday 30 September. Details will be posted here and across social media.
  • Following the publication by the Government of Statutory Instrument No. 296, face coverings are now mandatory in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. Readers will not be granted access to the Library if they are not wearing a suitable face covering (unless they can provide a reasonable excuse as outlined in the regulations). For more information on face coverings (e.g. what type to wear, how to use them properly etc.), please see the citizens information website.
  • The Early Printed Books and Manuscripts & Archives departments are now open as a joint reading room in the Manuscripts & Archives reading room. The reading room is open by appointment only for reduced hours on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Registered staff and students should e-mail or for more information and to book an appointment.
  • Due to reduced staff numbers on site and the introduction of various new services to offset the challenges posed by COVID-19, we are not in a position to admit alumni or external readers under further notice.

A safety-first approach to resuming Library services

We are committed to reopening Library spaces and resuming physical services as soon as it is possible and safe to do so. At all times we will be guided by the latest advice from the Government and the University.

The following principles will shape our phased resumption plan:

  • The safety of library users and library staff is paramount
  • We will continue to expand access to electronic resources and online supports to enhance remote digital access for teaching and research purposes
  • The reopening of Library spaces and the resumption of physical services will be phased and gradual.
  • In the initial phases of the resumption plan, priority will be given to current staff and students.

Safety measures in the reading rooms

To ensure the safety of all staff and readers, the following measures have been implemented across the reading rooms:

  • Readers must wear face coverings in all Library spaces for the duration of their visit to the Library
  • All study spaces are at least 2 metres apart
  • There is a 'keep right' policy in all spaces
  • Readers are required to maintain 2 metre social distancing in all spaces and not to congregate anywhere in the buildings
  • The Library provides hand gel at key locations throughout the reading rooms
  • Wipes are also available near the entrance to each floor so that study spaces can be wiped down before and after use
  • 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
  • When leaving the building, please ensure that all books are removed from study spaces and placed back on trolleys to facilitate the cleaning of reading rooms
  • For readers in the Berkeley/Lecky/Ussher complex, please note that the Lecky entrance to the Arts Building is closed. You will therefore need to use the Berkeley entrance to enter and exit the complex

Book return options

There are three options for returning books, depending on your circumstances:

1. If you are a continuing student and don't need to urgently return your books, please feel free to hold on to them for the time being. Due dates for all current loans have been extended to the 9 October 2020. No fines will accrue during this period. 

2. If you are a final year student (undergraduate or postgraduate), and you are not in a position to drop by the main campus, you can avail of our free postal return scheme, which we provide in collaboration with An Post. For further details, and to place requests, please follow this link.

3. If you are in a position to travel to the Library (the Berkeley, Hamilton or John Stearne libraries), you can return your books using the self-issue kiosks in each Library during normal opening hours. There are also book return bins at the entrance to each Library for quick returns (which staff will process after a 2 day quarantine period).


Any updates to the above options will be posted here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:

Book postal delivery service

The Library has launched a book postal delivery service for postgraduates and postgraduate researchers in Ireland who are not in a position to pick up books from the city centre. This service is free of charge.

How does the book delivery service work?

  • Requests must be placed via this online form
  • You can place up to 5 requests at any one time. Additional requests may be placed once previous ones have been posted out
  • Library staff then retrieve the requested materials, issue them on to requestors' Library accounts and post them out to the address specific in the request form
  • The due date for all books issued on to requestors' Library accounts will be 12 weeks from the date of issue.
  • Normal borrowing limits apply. If you hit your limit, you will need to return some books before you can place further requests

Who can avail of the service?

The service is primarily aimed at postgraduates and postgraduate researchers, but we will consider requests from other registered staff and students in urgent situations. This will be kept under review.

What materials can be requested?

Registered staff and students (undergraduate and postgraduate) can request materials from the open shelves in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton and John Stearne Medical libraries. Staff and postgraduate students may also request borrowable material from Santry and other storage locations. Periodicals and reference materials are excluded from this service, regardless of their location.


If you have any questions, please contact

Scan on demand

The Library has launched a scan on demand service for registered staff and postgraduate students to enable requests for scanned copies of print book chapters and journal articles held in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton, Early Printed Books & Special Collections and John Stearne Medical libraries. Scan on demand is designed to support readers who cannot physically make it to the city centre and who may require content from materials not within the scope of the Postal Delivery services. This means it is primarily intended for periodical and reference materials.

The scan on demand service is free of charge.

How does the scan on demand service work?

  • Requests must be placed via the scan on demand online form
  • You will need to accept a copyright declaration as part of the request process. In summary, scanned items are for individual research use only, and may not be shared, distributed, or posted elsewhere online. If you are a lecturer and wish to request a scan of a print book chapter or journal article for uploading to BlackBoard, please e-mail your request to
  • You can place up to 5 requests at any one time, but each request will be processed in turn
  • Library staff will create scanned copies of requested book chapters and journal articles in compliance with copyright legislation
  • The files will be made available for download from OneDrive via a unique link. The files will remain available for download for a period of 7 days, with an extended grace period of 28 days if the file is accidentally deleted. Contact if this issue arises. Scans of items held in Early Printed Books will be e-mailed directly to the person requesting them
  • Orders for Manuscripts and Archives material can be made by contacting

Who can avail of the scan on demand service?

The service is available to registered Trinity staff and postgraduates, but we will consider urgent requests on a case-by-case basis from undergraduate students if capacity allows. We are not in a position to accept requests from external/visiting readers at this time.

What materials can be requested?

Requests can be placed for materials held in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton and John Stearne Medical libraries. Due to copyright legislation, requests are limited to book chapters and journal articles. We cannot fulfil requests for scanned copies of entire books or journal issues etc. Orders for material from holdings in Early Printed Books & Special Collections outside copyright restrictions will be considered on a case by case basis.

Manuscripts & Archives material is also available for scan on demand on a case by case basis; for further information and to place an order, please contact

If you have any questions, please contact us at, or as appropriate.

Online "chat with us" service

The Library has launched a new online "chat with us" service, available via the Library homepage. Library staff will be online to answer your questions in real time from 11am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Simply click on the yellow "chat with us" tab on the upper right hand corner of the screen to start a chat.


If you are a lecturer in the throes of creating your module reading list, consider using MyReadingList to:

  • Create dynamic and up-to-date reading lists that you can integrate into Blackboard
  • Help with diagnostic assessment: have your students build their own reading lists & improve their literacy skills
  • Organise and annotate reading lists to suit your module structure
  • Increase student satisfaction with your module by simplifying access to material

To find out more about the benefits of this tool, visit our step by step guide or contact your Subject Librarian.

Additional resources to support teaching and research

If you are a lecturer preparing reading lists for semester one modules and we don’t have the e books you require, or if you are a research student requiring e books to support your work, contact your Subject Librarian to arrange purchase of this material. This service is particularly useful for titles that are presently unavailable remotely due to UKeLD restrictions or any texts that might be missing. Please note, preference will be given to requests received before 17th July.

Depositing Irish publications (Legal Deposit)

If you are a publisher or author of Irish publications, or their agent, you may wish to resume sending your material to the Library, either for deposit in Trinity, or for onward shipment to the UK legal deposit libraries by Trinity’s Irish Copyright Agency. Please note:

  • We continue to receive items sent to us by post (An Post).
  • For the time being, we cannot receive couriers, or personal deliveries; we are currently working on a timetable and the relevant procedures for this.
  • We have not issued claims for new publications since the Library buildings closed on 13 March 2020; we will gradually resume claiming from the end of July.

For general information on legal deposit, please see our Legal Deposit page.

Any questions, please contact the Accessions Librarian,