Trinity’s libraries will re-open on a phased basis next week after more than three months, with a new book delivery service for researchers and a “click and collect” facility.
Kinsella Hall will be the first library space to re-open on June 29th, with the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, and Hamilton libraries and the John Stearne Medical Library opening on July 20th.
The libraries’ website says that “the reopening of Library spaces and the resumption of physical services will be phased and gradual. Not all libraries can or will reopen at once, and we must be ready to change plans quickly if there are further waves of the virus”.
Kinsella Hall will not operate 24 hours a day as usual – the website says that “exact opening hours are to be confirmed”, but adds that they’re likely to be open from 9am until 5pm. College’s other libraries are likely to operate from 9.30am to 5pm when they re-open.
The use of group spaces will be prohibited and “strict social distancing measures will be enforced across all spaces”, which will likely include a limit on the number of people allowed into the libraries at any one time.
The Early Printed Books and Manuscripts & Archives reading rooms will reopen on August 10th, “on a limited basis”, along with the Long Room exhibitions.
The libraries will also launch a “click & collect” service next week. Readers can place requests online for print books held in the modern libraries, then collect them from a physical service point – “most likely Goldsmith Hall”, according to the website. This service is primarily aimed at researchers but the libraries “will accept requests from all students and staff if capacity allows”.
There will also be a “scan on demand” service which will enable library users to request scanned copies of book chapters and journal articles.
Earlier this month, Provost Patrick Prendergrast confirmed that Trinity’s next academic year will start on September 28th, as part of a radically altered academic calendar that will see first-term exams starting in January 2021 and a two-week Christmas break introduced.
First-year students will start College – which will run a mixture of online and blended learning – with an orientation week on September 21st.
Last month, The University Times reported that classes of up to 25 students could be taught in person next year, with groups bigger than that taught online.