Facilities and Support
Trinity College's library is the largest library in Ireland, with over 6 million printed volumes with extensive collections of journals, manuscripts, maps and music reflecting over 400 years of academic development. The most famous of its manuscripts, the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, were presented by Henry Jones, Bishop of Meath and former vice-chancellor of the University, in the 1660s. The Library is a major research library of international repute and supports the learning and research needs across all disciplines of the College, and also provides services to a wide range of external users and institutions. Its exhibitions of manuscripts and other treasures attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Old Library each year. Although an institution of great antiquity, the Library pioneers modern methods of resource discovery and developments in the teaching, learning and research processes.
Libraries are an important study tool at Trinity College, and visiting students should be aware of the library facilities that are available to them. In general, students should not purchase the books required for classes as done at home; they can expect to rely much more heavily on the libraries and on borrowed books. Students should plan ahead because the libraries usually require books to be read on the premises; in addition, most books need to be ordered from the stacks (unlike most U.S. college libraries, there may be limited access to stacks except for the staff). Books can take several hours to arrive, so are best ordered the day before they are required. Some books required for classes are kept on “short-term loan” or are “reserved”, where they are in a separate part of the library and students can only check them out for a few hours per day (which calls for even more organization and planning on the student’s part).
Library hours are quite different than what students may be used to in the US. In general, it’s best for students to plan their day as if it is a 9 am-5 pm job, and study in the libraries during the day rather than expecting to study late at night. The libraries are not open late during the weekdays, are closed on Saturdays, and partially open on Sundays.
Trinity provides all undergraduate students with a Personal Tutor — a blend of mentor and advisor who provides confidential personal and academic advice and support throughout a student’s time in the University. Tutors assist students with any difficulties they may experience, listen to their concerns, and help them to get the most out of their time at Trinity.
Students at Trinity also have access to Student Learning & Development, an office that offers workshops and advising to help students adjust to Trinity’s academics.
Every Trinity student is assigned a Student-to-Student (S2S) mentor who keeps in regular contact throughout the semester. As fellow students, they can give advice on relevant modules to take, how to make the most out of time in college, and listen to any concerns students may have. They will give students a campus tour during Orientation, and will be in touch throughout time on campus. Visiting students can reach out to them with any questions they may have about their academic or social life at Trinity.
The Student Disability Service is the support service for students with disability or special learning difficulties. Students requiring support from Trinity due to the impact of their disability or specific learning difficulty are advised to contact the Service as early as possible to explore what supports can be provided. To find out more, contact the Disability Office and complete the form for incoming international student requests. Please Note: University policies vary country to country, so while Trinity works with every student to accommodate them as best they can, Trinity may not be able to provide exactly the same accommodations as a student's home university (i.e., Irish vs US laws on extended time for student exams).
The Students' Union
Every registered student at Trinity College is automatically a member of the Students’ Union (SU), based in House 6 in Trinity’s Front Square. The Students’ Union is a representative body with five full-time student sabbatical officers and a number of part-time officers, who look after the educational and welfare needs of Trinity’s student population and organize other campus events. Within the building students can find the Students’ Union offices, a newsagent, the Students’ Union Bookshop Co-op, and faxing/photocopying facilities. There is also a Students' Union shop in the Hamilton Building and in Goldsmith Hall. The SU is a great source of information about College life, the services available to students, life in Dublin, and so much more.