Skip to main content

Library Re-opening: Home

Core Principles:

  1. UCC Library is committed to reopening both Boole and Brookfield libraries as soon as it is safe to do so: the safety of library users and staff is the chief guiding principle.
  2. Reopening of library spaces will be phased, and limited. Social distancing guidelines will reduce the capacity of reading spaces, and some services such as the Library Studio will reopen at a later stage. Event spaces will not be available for the foreseeable future, and the Creative Zone will be designated for study use to maximise student space.
  3. The plan is informed by both Government directives for public health and University guidelines and decisions and UCC Library will continually review and revise its plans in response to changes in Government and University policy.
  4. The Library will develop new digital services to compensate for physical closure and limited access to facilities and collections.

When will University Library Buildings Reopen?

As part of wider University efforts to reopen campus buildings, UCC Library is working towards a reopening date of August 10th for both Boole and Brookfield Libraries. This date has been recommended by the Office of Buildings and Estates and has been approved by the University’s Academic Leaders’ Forum, Campus Business Continuity Team and UMTO.

From July 20th, the Quad Reading Room will open as an unsupervised study space with limited capacity, and on a reservation system. Access to the Special Collections and Archives will be made available by appointment from this date also. More details on these are listed under New Services below.

UCC Library is operating a phased return to library services and spaces using the following roadmap:

Library Service Area Current Operations June 29th (Phase 3 ) July 20th ( Phase 4 ) 10th August
Library buildings inaccessible to library patrons and library staff.   The Quad Reading Room will be available as an unsupervised study room with limited capacity Library buildings access reinstated for library patrons and library staff with appropriate social distancing in place. Online services will still be the primary mode of delivery. 
No physical item borrowing at this time. Access to library collections via digital online formats only. Interlibrary loan service operating for requests for digital resources only. The Library will take requests for a Scan and Send service of materials in physical library collection (some exceptions). Scanned chapters and articles, compliant with copyright restrictions, can be requested for electronic delivery.  The library will also introduce a 'Click and Collect' service for all users to request materials for borrowing.    Scan and Deliver and Click and Collect services will remain until feasible. Borrowing of main collection items resumes. 
Items currently on-loan to be retained until the library is reopen.   A Book returns service will operate from the Lobby area of the Library in conjunction with the Click & Collect Service. Physical library items on-loan due for return. Returned items may be quarantined for up to 72 hours, and will remain on the borrowers account until this time has passed. No fines will accrue during the books’ quarantine phase.
All user queries funnelled through the Library’s online Ask Us Service – live instant chat, email and ticketing services.     Face-to-face services continues to be limited. Library users will be asked to make use of self-service options in so-far as possible.
Not Available   Access to Special Collections and Archives Reading Room by appointment only. Access to general study spaces and group study spaces available subject to social distancing guidelines. Capacity of study spaces and group study rooms is significantly reduced.
Not Available    Creative Zone not available for bookable events, and designated for study use only. Library Studio and VR Digital Experience Lounge spaces not available until a full review of measures is undertaken.LapSafe not available Access to library spaces will be continually reviewed and revised.

New Services

There will be a gradual return to digital services before the full reopening of library buildings. The library will shortly unveil a range of zero-contact services to facilitate access to materials while library building remains closed. These services include:

Scan & Deliver Service: this new service will enable the ordering of digitised scans of library materials subject to copyright rules. Materials from Archives are excluded from this service. Click here to avail of this service
Click & Collect Service: this new service will allow users to request items from the main lending collections for loan. Requested items will be retrieved on your behalf and made available for collection from a designated point in UCC Library where you can then use our Self issue Machines to check them out. This service will facilitate access to the lending collection while library buildings remain closed. Materials from Special Collections & Archives are excluded from this service due to the value and vulnerability of these materials. Click here to avail of this service
Quad Reading Room: The Quad Reading Room will be available as an unsupervised study room with limited capacity from July 20th. Access to the Quad Reading Room will be available via a seat-reservation system. Click here to avail of this service
Special Collections & Archives: Access to Special Collections and Archives by appointment only will be available from July 20th. Click here to avail of this service

How will you ensure the safety of Library Staff and Users?

Safety is the primary objective in reopening UCC Library. We have adopted a phased approach to carefully manage reopening and we are rigorously following public health advice and University guidelines and decisions.

In accordance with physical distancing guidelines, the overall capacity of library buildings will be much reduced. Library users will only be able to make use of reading spaces that have been designated for use in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Hand sanitisation stations will be set up at various locations around the buildings. Numbers entering the building will be monitored and subject to a one-in, one-out approach — all to ensure the safety of library users and staff. Library users will be asked to adhere to safety instructions as set out in signage throughout the buildings.

Library Opening Hours

It is proposed that opening hours for both Boole and Brookfield Libraries will be 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday for the foreseeable future. Access to library buildings will include limits on the number of users in the libraries at any one time, and strict social distancing measures will be in place. Access to library spaces and services will be continually monitored, and all arrangements will be reviewed and revised as needed, taking into account user needs and public health guidelines.

Please see our policies regarding re-opening here

The Library is keen to ensure that user needs are facilitated as far as possible within these proposed arrangements.

Author: Colette McKenna

Director of Library Services

2nd July 2020