Phased re-opening of libraries

Following the Covid-19 closures and redeployments of library staff we are pleased to be starting the phased reopening of some of our library sites.

For the safety of staff and library users and to comply with government recommendations and HSE guidelines there will be some changes to the way we operate. Here are the main points you need to know:

  • Maximum capacity: numbers of people occupying the library will be capped (details will be displayed at library entrances)
  • Physical distancing : will be strictly observed and 2m distance must be maintained, so desk and face to face services will be limited
  • Maximum time (2 hours): To comply with confined space safeguards for staff and library users after any two hours of occupancy the library must close and/or all staff and users must vacate
  • Hygiene: Hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette and sanitation practices will be strictly observed
  • Book Borrowing : There will no open access to library shelves in most library sites. ‘Click & collect’ service only. Library users will be expected to place a hold on items they want to borrow using the library catalogue and will be notified by email when they are available to collect from their local library. It will only be possible to place requests on items in your home library (the library your account is based at) and only where your site is indicated as open and available for click & collect service (as below). Books should be returned in book return boxes only and returned items will be quarantined on return.
  • Computers / Photocopiers: Library users are encouraged to use their own devices where possible. Access to computers and photocopiers may be restricted and library users are expected to wipe machines with disinfectant wipes provided after use
  • Entry/ Exit : One way systems will be in operation at some sites and library users are asked to be observant of signage

Virtual Library Services

Library users are encouraged to use virtual services where possible and make in-person library visits only when necessary.

To supplement the physical libraries and accomodate reduced onsite capacity new virtual services have been introduced.

  • LiBot, the chatbot virtual assistant: Is active on all pages of the HSE Library website providing 24/7 response. LiBot provides quick answers to standard questions and directs to resources. Use the chat button on the bottom of the page to open LiBot
  • Virtual Desk – Live sessions: The live Virtual Desk is open for assigned hours Monday – Friday and staffed by HSE Librarystaff. Live enquiry and chat sessions with library staff are facilitated. Virtual Desk staff respond or resolve queries in realtime or refer the query on to another member of the NHLKS team via a ticketing function. Visit the virtual desk HERE (or use the tab on the side of the page).
  • FAQ Answers / Submit a query: When the Virtual Desk is not available, a detailed FAQ knowledge base is available or questions can be submitted online which will be added as tickets in the LibAnswers system and assigned to a member oflibrary staff to resolve. FAQs available HERE

Site Opening Details

Opening details will continue to be updated over the coming weeks so please review local library pages for ongoing updates on openings.

Library Opening details Click & Collect Available
Midland Regional Hospital – Tullamore Open July 1st Yes
Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar TBC (Open for Click & Collect)Yes
Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise TBC (Open for Click & Collect)Yes
Cavan General Hospital Open Friday July 3rd Yes
Galway University Hospitals (UHG & Merlin Park) Monday July 6th Yes
Mayo University Hospital Monday July 6th Yes
Roscommon University HospitalMonday July 6th Yes
Portinucula University Hospital Monday July 6th Yes
University Hospital Limerick Monday July 6th (preliminary date) Yes
Sligo General Hospital Tuesday July 7th Yes
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Library, Drogheda Monday July 13th Yes (from July 13th)
St. Columcille’s Hospital, LoughlinstownCurrently open (check page for opening times) Yes
St. Conal’s Hospital Library, LetterkennyCurrently staffed on WEDNESDAYS – open as a reading room remainder of week
Yes (Open Wednesdays for collections)
University Hospital Kerry, TraleeWednesday July 13thYes
Other sites Details to be confirmed

How to place a hold for ‘Click and Collect’