Thursday saw the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, launch The Library of Trinity College Dublin – Strategy 2015–2020 in the Science Gallery. The event took the form of a conversation between the Provost and the Deans of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Health Sciences; and Engineering, Maths and Science; together with the Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton. The event was documented live on Twitter using the hashtag #futurelibrary.
The discussion revolved around the central role of the Library in the life of the University. Dr. Prendergast’s introduction defined the Library as “the space within the university where knowledge is collected, disseminated and discriminated”. Professor Daryl Jones expressed his belief that libraries are the emblems of civilisation. Professor Mary McCarron shared the responses to a survey she carried out among Health Sciences staff and students about their ideas for the library of the future, which highlighted the importance of expert subject librarians; collaborative space; and better marketing and management of resources. Professor Vinny Cahill envisaged the Library as a place for ‘experimentation, flexibility, and openness.’
The Q&A session which followed was moderated by the broadcaster Dr John Bowman, and resulted in a lively exchange of ideas ranging from how libraries can address the growing ‘digital black hole’, to how best to create a state-of-the-art research library.
The event concluded with the Librarian Helen Shenton launching the coming year’s programme of events around the theme ‘The Library of the Future, the Future of the Library’. If the audience’s engagement and interest yesterday evening are anything to go by, the Library has a bright future ahead!