24 hour library to be introduced on Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s campus for exam period

By Rebecca Lumley

DCU O'Reilly library. Credit: Vaming

DCU students will have 24-hour access to the library for the coming summer exam period, which will see equal opening hours in the Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s campus libraries for the first time since the Incorporation.  

The extended hours will come into effect from May 2nd to 19th and, according to VP for Education and Placement Manus Mc Loughlin, will mark the first time a University library has offered a 24-hour service.

Though the library help desk will not be manned for 24 hours, students will be able to borrow books at any time. The proposal to prolong the opening hours of library coffee shops is under consideration.

“We are delighted to see extra efforts being made to improve DCU libraries. At the end of the day students come to University to get a degree and there is nothing more useful than a library to help students achieve that,” Mc Loughlin said.

The extension was negotiated following lobbing on part of the SU, and will prove an important step towards providing equal library hours on both campuses, according to Mc Loughlin.

The O’Reilly library on the Glasnevin campus currently opens from 8:30am until 2am, while the Cregan library on St. Patrick’s campus closes at 10pm. Mc Loughlin is passionate about granting equal hours to libraries on both campuses and argued that such a change would improve the safety of students.

“Students have no choice but to walk from the Cregan library to the O’Reilly after the Cregan closes at 10pm. Campus Security Guards made the SU aware that students were arriving at the gates of St.Patrick’s Campus at 2:30am, in the middle of the night,” he said.

“DCU Students’ Union do not feel at ease knowing that hordes of students are walking between DCU libraries in the dark of night.”

Students raised concerns that there was a lack of lighted pathways when walking between libraries, while students from the School of Education lobbied for later closing hours on a permanent basis, to facilitate people on placement.

Library resources have come under strain since the Incorporation was finalised last September, as DCU currently has almost 17,000 students, spread over three campuses and two multi-story libraries.

According to DCU Library, they receive 1.2 million visits a year between the two libraries, with the Cregan library receiving a third of visits compared to the O’Reilly.

The O’Reilly library can seat 477 students and holds 192 computers. According to data it has complied, the library’s busiest month is November, followed by March.

Rebecca Lumley

Image Credit: Vaming