'I really like my library. It’s big and spacious and cosy'
We asked you to tell us what you think of your college libraries. This is what you told us...
We asked: How good is your college library? Is it well-organised and accessible? Photograph: iStockphoto
Last week we published an article by a student at NUI Galway in which she highlighted the conditions at the university’s Hardiman Library.
We asked students to let us know what they think of their own college libraries. Are they well-organised and accessible? Do they offer students a space that is functional, easy to use and is safe and secure? Here’s what they said:
Nathan: My experience of the library here at the University of Limerick has been one of mixed feelings. I was blown away by the new part of the library and think it’s an amazing addition to the college as a whole. I would say I do believe the older part of the library could do with new lighting, as it is quite dreary and dull. I also believe that over the whole library there are not enough sockets for students (to charge phones/laptops etc.) and as someone who commutes daily and utilizes my phone and laptop frequently this has proven to be an issue at times. With that said, I think the library is an outstanding facility to the University of Limerick and think it greatly modernizes our ever growing campus.
Jack: The library facilities in NUIG are shocking, the air conditioning is horrible, some days it’s too hot some days it’s too cold, there is a limited number of seats which have a plug beside them which many think is unacceptable in this day and age.
Mike: The university libraries generally offer a range of good services. Some of them have very restricted opening hours in summer. They are part of the WorldCat service, so you can use the OCLC website as a single portal to search their catalogues. But they don’t seem to advertise this. The local authority libraries all promote the single portal of the Libraries Ireland website. This means you can search all their hundreds of libraries on one website. Further, you can borrow a book from any library in the country, and have it sent to your local library for collection - and the service is free of charge. The university libraries offer an inter-library loan service, but it costs 6 euro per loan. Why can’t they join Libraries Ireland?
James: We are very lucky here in UL to have a state of the art library that has just been extended! It is surely one of the best in the country, but like with everything, some things could be improved. For instance, in the ‘old’ part, the lighting tends to be low and can flicker on and off at times. There is also very little water fountains so it would definitely help to have more of those. And sometimes the WiFi can be pretty poor unless you have an Ethernet cable. But other than that the library is fantastic, especially the new part and UL is definitely the best University in the country!
Lynda: My DIT college campus is currently spread over 6 locations in Dublin City centre and I have used three of the libraries; Cathal Brugha Street, Aungier Street and Bolton street. Out if them all I prefer Bolton street and Aungier street. CBS is terrible as it has not enough space ( the mezzanine is claustraphobic), completely lacks oxygen and is short on computers. If there is a class on they are off limits, plus they freeze and ditch the work you have saved. Saying that Aungier street is also heavily subscribed so Bolton street is the best out of a bad lot. I’ve had to go to the other libraries to get better books on my degree subject which is strange. I now use the national library as my reading room as my college is too packed.
Molly: University College Cork prides itself on the Boole Library. In recent years, the staff have made an incredible effort to reduce electricity costs and minimalize the use of plastic. There are stickers at every desk reminding students to turn off the lights and there is an entire wall made from plants. Moreover, the bathrooms are always clean, and books are restocked as soon as possible. But The Boole is so much more than just a library. It has a modern studio, where students can record interviews and produce podcasts. There is a Skill Centre and a Creative Zone, where events and launches are held. Currently, there is an exhibition on Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s First Female Botanist. There is even a sleep pod on the third floor! And you can’t forget Blackstone Launchpad, where students receive guidance about becoming an entrepreneur and running a start-up business. So, it is any wonder then, that during study week, queues start from seven am and every seat is full by nine? The only problem with The Boole Library is that there isn’t more of it.
Colin: I am currently a final year student at the University of Limerick. The university is just after refurbishing and extending to the old building which in turn has created a beautiful top class campus library. The addition of extra seats and study spaces will be very beneficial when it comes to the business end of the semester especially around week 10 to the end of the exam period. The library is a fantastic asset to the UL community and is almost like a social event at this stage of my university career. It is fantastic to see such modernity within the University, with the inclusion of the “A.R.C” within the library which holds up to 100,000 books (I think, maybe more not quite sure), along with the high tech computers which are available to the people which need them, along with the laptop lending, and just general chill out zones that are available. I thoroughly enjoy coming to the Library but the ONLY thing I would like to see improved is the opening hours at the weekend. I believe they should be extended, a lot of students do not travel home for the weekends and around the business end of the semester people would probably like to study in comfort for as long as possible without knowing they have to leave at 6 or 7 in the evening. Otherwise, the University of Limerick’s Library has become a top of the range, and fantastic new addition to the University’s students and the greater community.
Rebecca: I really like my (DIT) library. It’s big and spacious and cosy. The staff are lovely and very helpful.
Pax: The Fleischmann Library in CIT CSM is excellent. Both librarians there are very helpful and efficient. It is a bright clean space with a fantastic view of the city from the 4th/5th floor.
Adepeju: I’m a first year student in Trinity studying Law and Business and my first couple of weeks I thought there was little help with the library. But I have come to realise how fantastic the structure is, there are three libraries: Lecky, Ussher and Berkeley and they’re all linked (which is really handy for change of scenery when studying), you’re not limited by space. The subject librarians are very helpful and the library staff are so patient when helping you locate materials. There is access to vital databases which seem limitless! It’s almost a question of how much resources can you handle? Very grateful as I’ve found myself in such a great college. 100 out of 100 for TCD library.
Áine: The library has three copies of the recommended book that’s recommended to 300 students. Also there’s no way for books to get from (DCU’s) St Pats library to the Glasnevin library.
Michael: The libraries on both DCU campuses are too small for purposes, with clapped out seats that are rarely free. The student population grew too fast for the size of the library.