Held seats to be cleared in Cregan library during busy period

Orla Dwyer

A survey showed that a common complaint was students holding seats for hours in both DCU libraries.

Seats held by students and left vacant in Cregan library on St Patrick’s campus will be cleared as part of a pilot scheme launched on December 3rd.

The initiative will take place in the Cregan library until January 18th. Seats abandoned for more than 45 minutes will be cleared by seat monitors and items will be left in a box under the desk. If successful, it will be extended to the O’Reilly library on the Glasnevin campus for semester two exams.

“We planned a wide-ranging information campaign to flag this campaign in advance… Our staff in Cregan are pleased to report a decrease in people leaving desks vacated,” said Shauna McDermott, Public Services Manager in DCU Libraries, three days after the pilot was launched.

This is the first year such a project has been launched. The library ran a survey last April and a common complaint was students holding seats for hours in both DCU libraries.

“We have hired seat monitors who will patrol the floors during the busiest times of the day, observing if seats are occupied or left vacant with personal items left behind to hold them,” said McDermott.

“This was a complaint that came through strongly in our recent survey so we are pleased to be able to react with such a well-planned project,” she added.

Other complaints in the survey regarded library opening hours on the weekend, which has recently increased in both DCU libraries with Sunday openings and extended Friday and Saturday hours.

The scheme was piloted in Cregan as it is smaller and easier to control on a pilot basis than O’Reilly, according to McDermott. The campaign is titled Share the Chair.

Second year B.Ed student Rebecca Tully said she believes students will now be less likely to leave their belongings behind when leaving for a period of time.

“I think people now are more afraid that if they leave their stuff like a laptop or something behind, that when they come back it won’t be there,” she said.

“Coming up to exams and especially now with assignments due, there are certain times where you wouldn’t actually be able to get a seat at all. Lunchtime or in the evenings in particular,” said second-year B.Ed student Charlene Maguire.

McDermott said they have “already learned many useful lessons in how to run it effectively” which will help to scale it up for the O’Reilly library next year.


Orla Dwyer

Image Credit: Alison Clair