The Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher (BLU) libraries are to operate under reduced hours from this Friday, College has said, and the Hamilton and John Stearne libraries will close entirely to readers.
From January 22nd, the BLU complex will be open to readers from 1pm to 5pm only. Kinsella Hall, which is normally open 24 hours a day, will be accessible from 8am to 10pm.
The Exam Hall will also be available as a study space.
In an email to students, librarian and College archivist Helen Shenton said: “From the 22nd January, when Semester 1 examinations will have finished, there will be some changes to the arrangements in the Library. The aim is to balance provision for Library users, who need study space and access to the collections, with the health, safety and welfare of staff and students in light of the current Covid-19 situation.”
“There will be a concentration of available library spaces, extra measures to minimise contact and more emphasis on self-service”, Shenton said.
Students will still be able to access materials from the Hamilton and John Stearne libraries via a click-and-collect service. Pre-booking of library seats will remain in place.
The situation “is being kept under constant review as the national pandemic situation changes”, Shenton added.
Last year saw Trinity’s libraries remain open for the Christmas break for the first time, closing only on Christmas day.
Earlier this month, the libraries closed early without notifying students, leaving some readers’ belongings locked inside overnight.
The libraries’ opening hours were due to be restricted the following day.
In a statement to The University Times at the time, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Education Officer Megan O’Connor said: “Unfortunately the timing couldn’t be worse for students with exams starting next Monday. It is simply not good enough to suddenly kick everyone out of the library two hours before the scheduled closing time and without any warning.”
Last November, the libraries announced that students would have a 45-minute window to check-in to the libraries, otherwise forfeiting their pre-booked seat.
Concerns had been raised about students booking slots and then failing to show up.
Students can check in no earlier than 30 minutes before the slot begins or 15 minutes after.