The best libraries for studying at Trinity College Dublin | Top Universities

The best libraries for studying at Trinity College Dublin

By Rory C

Updated July 18, 2022 Updated July 18, 2022

The library is a core aspect of student life and Trinity College Dublin offers a spectacular number of libraries to study in, including one of the best rated libraries in the world.  

There is an ongoing debate between Trinity College students over which library offers the best facilities with the right balance of location within the city. As a Trinity College student myself, I feel lucky to have some amazing libraries to work from, providing a quiet space to focus on my studies and to meet up with friends too. 

Here’s a breakdown of the libraries on offer: 

Berkeley 

Outside shot of Berkeley library

Berkeley is my favourite library at Trinity College Dublin for three reasons: location, look and locals. The walk to the library takes you across the busy Fellow’s Square, where lots of students hang out and you always bump into friends on the way. 

Berkeley is joined to the university’s arts building so as an arts student, I’m never more than five minutes from the library. From the outside, it’s a concrete fortress that looks intimidating, but once I’m inside it insulates me from all distractions.  

Across three levels, the library has an intentionally brutalist design sprinkled with wooden desk and shelf fixtures. What this means for students is an undistracting and isolated environment that’s ideal for study. It’s the ultimate shelter on campus.  

Before stepping inside, the congregation of familiar faces at the door to the library brings a warmth to any student in a rush to complete a morning assignment or on the way to an all-nighter.  

Ussher

Ussher library

Ussher Library brings a modern touch to Trinity’s historic buildings. The library is home to the Kinsella Hall, a study area that’s a hotspot for late night working because it’s open 24 hours a day. 

Ussher makes ample use of its six levels with an atrium stretching the whole way through the building. Floor to ceiling windows offer a view across the cricket field and onto the Pavilion Bar, or ‘the Pav’, a college bar that’s popular for a few pints with friends. Ussher has a postgraduate only area on the top floor in the 1937 Reading Room library. 

I like to go to Ussher during exam season, as Kinsella Hall offers a quiet spot for getting into big revision. The minimalist feel of Ussher also helps me to get my head down and avoid distractions.  

The Long Room  

The Long Room at Trinity College Dublin

The Long Room is the most famous library at Trinity College Dublin, and it’s been ranked one of the best libraries in the world. Ancient features drape the whole building in history, rivalling any other cultural landmark in Dublin.  

My favourite artefact here is an original 1916 proclamation that embodies the spirit of the 18th century library and Trinity College’s history overall. The library exists more as a visitor attraction than a place of study, so you won’t be able to work in this library. Students can use the archive facilities on request.  

I tend to only visit the Long Room when showing people around Dublin. You can email ahead to secure free tickets.  

Lecky 

Occupying the space between Berkeley library and the Arts building, Lecky library connects the two buildings with a walkway. It’s a popular, well-placed spot to study but I’d recommend it for quick homework rather than long study sessions because there is a lot of through traffic.  

It’s accessible for arts students, but it’s the furthest library from the business/sciences side of campus. The library offers working areas and books over multiple levels. The Lecky entrance is a common meeting point for students and one of the best campus cafés, the Perch, is only a few metres away.  

The closeness of Lecky library to places like The Perch, one of the best campus cafés, and the arts block, is what attracts me to it. The library is spacious, and I think it’s the handiest spot for dropping in to do some quick work on the go.  

Hamilton 

Set within the Hamilton building, this library is focused on STEM resources. It’s smaller than the other libraries and tends to be the least busy spot. This means that getting a seat during exam season is a little easier.  

The library is in close proximity to most of the science and maths facilities on the East side of campus, so it’s perfect for STEM students. Hamilton is also right beside the university gym and the trainline. Like Ussher, it’s not too far from the Pavilion Bar either. Hamilton building contains the Trinity College Dublin Global Room and Erasmus office for support for international students.  

 

Whichever library does become a favourite on campus will be a choice held with conviction by the end of any Trinity student's college career. I recommend everyone to give each a go first during quiet and busy times to get a feel for which one works best for you. 

This article was originally published in July 2022 .

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