Overcrowding in DCU’s libraries during exam periods

As exams approach, student's are finding it more difficult to find study space in the library, some are even studying on the floor

Limited space in DCU’s libraries is becoming a serious issue for students during the build up to exams.

DCU’s libraries are facing overcrowding with exams soon approaching. For students, this is adding more strain to an already stressful time of year.

DCU has two libraries. The O’Reilly library, situated on the Glasnevin campus and the Cregan library, situated on the St. Patricks campus.

The libraries’ flexible opening hours means students typically don’t have to worry about finding adequate study space.

However, with exam preparation and final assignments looming, this relaxed period is not long lasting.

Though the libraries are built to facilitate a high quantity of students, they simply cannot hold the number of students that wish to use them during this important time of the year.

In the O’Reilly library, there are three floors with desks, group study rooms and a communal area. Yet during busy periods students can be seen walking around each floor in search for a spot to study.

First year primary teaching student Aoife Gawley said, “I think the main issue is how many desks there are…they’re hard to get unless you get in at 9am.”

When the number of students in the library increases, distractions also increase.

First year applied physics and astronomy student John Downes said, “If you’re lucky enough to get a seat there’s always constant noise and distractions from people.”

Downes summed the issue up by saying, “There’s a high demand for a limited amount of space.”

Adam Healy, third year English and history student and next year’s elected Humanities and Social Sciences faculty representative described the settings students are left to study in in the Cregan library.

“Up in Pats, people are sitting on the floors, and in communal areas trying to finish off dissertations or thesis’, it’s a joke.”

Healy suggested the appropriate placing of more furniture to lessen the problem.

“There’s so much space for tables and chairs I don’t know why they just won’t put them there”, he said.


Healy said he has concern for students who are choosing not to attend college because they need to do assignments and “know they won’t find space” in the library between lectures.

Final year students with upcoming exams important exams feel the brunt of this issue.

Final year business student Aislin Reid said, “It’s far too cramped, students need more locations to study, not just the library.”

Public Services Officer for DCU libraries Shauna McDermott said she believes the increase in demand for library services is “due to an increase in student numbers post incorporation.”

To combat this she said, “We have gotten 140 extra seats for O’Reilly library and opened up a new group study room in Cregan library.”

As of now, the college is unable to offer its students the facilities they need during the most integral points in their degrees.

McDermott said,” We will be doing a full review of study spaces in the summer, with a view to increasing study capacity during term time.” With hopes of a solution before the next academic year.

Róisín Phelan

Image Credit: Alison Clair