Library Publications & Policies
DCU Library continues to develop a range of policies and publications.
These inform and shape our strategic direction.
DCU Library is the heart of the university. It is an active driver of knowledge creation and discovery, learning, scholarly discourse, innovation, and connections.
This new strategy, developed after a period of significant organisational change for the Library sets out a transformational pathway for our future. It builds on our established reputation for innovation, user-centric services, and trusted expertise.
Our strategy is a constituent component of DCU’s Strategy 2023-2028 - Transformation for an Unscripted Future and directly drives and contributes to the achievement of DCU’s objectives. It too is developed in the context of the many challenges faced by society both locally and globally - including the cost of living and housing crisis, social isolation, a climate emergency, and the proliferation of new technologies.
Our strategy calls out and challenges us to deliver an ambitious offering to the university community, an offering that enables all at DCU to succeed, and to find their voice in this loud and demanding world.
The Library will lead in digital transformation, open research, digital literacy and maximising accessibility and engagement between collections and users. As a university of place, we will explore and progress the best utilisation of our spaces to support and innovate new approaches to research, study, and learning. We will strive to address disadvantages in access to information and content, embracing the principles of equity and openness.
We will, over the next five years, work to be future ready as an organisation, and a custodian of impactful, sustainable collections, services, and spaces.
DCU Library Mission
To empower DCU’s research, teaching and learning ambitions through the development of innovative services, diverse spaces, and the provision of deep, rich, and relevant collections.
To be a library that is vital to the success and well-being of students and staff, one that is at the heart of academic life and actively enables and contributes to the transformation of citizens and society.
We share the values of DCU and have pride in our ethos as information professionals. Our values direct our strategy and inspire our operations. We strive to be an inspiring physical and virtual destination and a community, a place where we enrich experiences and enable creativity and connectivity.
- We support and celebrate a culture and community of openness and inclusion.
- We are collegial and collaborative.
- We aim to be student and research focussed and are ambitious in our reach and our plans.
- We strive for innovation in the delivery of our expert services.
- We pride ourselves on service excellence and develop an environment that is smart, responsive, future focussed, agile and encourages risk taking.
To realise these ambitions, we will work in line with the key DCU drivers of innovation and creativity, empowering and harnessing our collective leadership and remain mindful of the issues of environmental and economic sustainability, viewing our activities and services through a lens of equality, inclusivity and respect for every individual.
1 - Championing and Empowering Our Students
We aim to provide our students with a unique, inspiring, and inclusive learning experience that empowers them to succeed and flourish during their time at DCU and beyond. Our strategy supports and drives the university’s ambitious and innovative curriculum renewal programme, student transversal skills development and associated distinctive active pedagogies which form key elements of the university’s teaching and learning strategy.
In partnership with our student and wider DCU community, we plan the transformation of our library spaces to enrich the student experience, support student well-being, creativity, collaboration, and new forms of teaching, learning and research.
We will continue to ensure our collections, programmes and services remain relevant, discoverable, and accessible at point of need for all at DCU and proactively support students at key stages of their academic journey. We remain committed to driving the development of our students’ critical digital and information literacy skills, instilling in them the importance of academic integrity, empowering them to thrive academically, professionally, and as informed, responsible citizens.
- In collaboration with key university partners and the student community, we will develop a plan for the phased transformation of library physical spaces. This plan will include a critical review of our openly available print collections to ensure an effective balance between student learning spaces and high use collections.
- We will expand and renew our educational programmes and online learning tools and resources that enable and support the development of students’ information and digital literacy skills and knowledge.
- We will map our teaching and learning interventions to the competencies identified in the university’s digital literacy framework.
- We will continue to exploit the library’s services platform and digital infrastructure to further integrate library owned and openly available contemporary and unique collections across the learning and research lifecycles.
- We will develop a plan for the redevelopment and re-design of the library’s website to ensure an effective, accessible, efficient, and intuitive web experience for our users.
- We will accelerate increased awareness and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in collaboration with colleagues across the university.
Key DCU Relationships: Students Union, Student Support & Development, Faculty, Estates, Information Systems Services.
2 - Opening Research
DCU Library plays a leading and critical role in enabling research excellence and maximising the visibility, reach and impact of DCU’s research outputs. In this new plan, we will further develop infrastructure, responsive services, training and partnerships that enable and support the transition to open research and reflect the strategic focus of the university’s research agenda.
DCU Library is the home of a number of nationally and culturally important unique and distinct collections and archives. To ensure these collections support and drive research and learning now and into the future, we will develop an ambitious digitisation programme and enhance our digital infrastructure to prioritise the management of research-intensive collections and ensure their discoverability, accessibility, and long-term preservation.
- We will actively contribute and lead to the development of institutional open research policies and goals through our active membership of DCU’s Open Research Task Force.
- We will significantly grow our programme of training and support on open research principles and practices aimed at both our student and staff communities.
- We will develop proactive research data management services and grow our support for digital scholarship activities.
- We will continue to work with key national and university partners to further develop quality, robust and financially sustainable open access publishing routes for the DCU community including a sustained investment in, and growth of, DCU Press and DORAS, DCU’s institutional repository.
- We will develop a special and archival research collection development and management policy involving their whole lifecycle, including digitisation and the management of born digital content, identifying and accessioning allied and relevant collections to contribute to research, and maximising access through partnerships such as the Digital Repository of Ireland.
Key DCU Relationships: DCU Research Office, Graduate Studies Office, ISS, Faculty, DCU Educational Trust.
3 - Creating Connections
DCU Library does not exist in isolation. It empowers the DCU community engaging with all schools, faculties and professional units sharing our expertise, creating and growing partnerships and networks of opportunity. In a similar manner, we respect and support the intrinsic value of contributing to professional and other networks and reach out to our professional colleagues across and beyond Ireland.
We are acutely aware of our geographical location, nestled within local communities, close to schools and public libraries. DCU Library has developed a specific outreach function and will deepen and broaden this role and grow new connections and partnerships.
- In line with DCU’s commitment to collective leadership, we will continue to seek and identify new opportunities for the library to add value and expertise across the University
- We will build on our successful local community cultural outreach activities and partnerships and broaden and develop a multi annual comprehensive Outreach & Public Engagement Programme.
- We will expand our collaboration with secondary schools offering innovative programmes and study support and explore growing relationships with the Further Education community.
- As a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), and Erasmus+ we will develop a Library network and explore potential areas where we can collaborate, share expertise and support the work of the consortium.
- We will contribute to, and direct activities and strategies, as a key member of professional networks and groups such as the Consortium of National and University Libraries (CONUL), the Irish Universities Association Librarians Group (IUALG), and the Irish Research electronic Library (IReL).
- We will support the university’s relations with the alumni community by exploring the expansion of our engagement and service offering.
Key DCU Relationships: DCU Access, DCU Cultural Arts office, DCU Educational Trust, DCU Student Support & Development, DCU Alumni office.
4 - Investing in and Valuing Our People
Since our last strategy, DCU Library is now physically located on three campuses and with an extensive and sophisticated online digital presence. This has necessitated a growth in staff numbers and expertise in delivering a multiplicity of services.
We will review our structures to ensure they are future focused and ready and allow us to continue to be responsive and agile in an ever-changing environment. We are committed to developing and enabling a culture of innovation, belonging and inclusion.
We do not lose sight of the centrality and wellbeing of our colleagues and staff in delivering upon our mission and vision and will continue to directly support and encourage professional development and allied opportunities.
- To deliver on our new strategy, we will undertake an organisational review ensuring our structure fully aligns and supports our ambitions. As part of this process, we will also review current and future skills needs.
- We will further embed a culture of experimentation, innovation and professional development, empowering staff to develop their knowledge, skills and leadership capabilities.
- We will review our staff workspaces with a view to phased investment where needed whilst taking account of new ways of working.
- In support of the university’s EDI action plan, and to ensure an inclusive environment and culture, we will work towards applying for, and achieving, the Athena Swan bronze award.
Key DCU Relationships: DCU Human Resources, DCU Learning & Organisational Development, DCU Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Office
5 - Developing Our Organisation
DCU Library has grown significantly and such growth has necessitated immense flexibility and adaptability to meet various challenges and ensure continued innovation and the delivery of impactful, sustainable programmes and services.
During the life of this strategy, we aim to accelerate the digital re-engineering of our processes and workflows. We will advance our data analytics and evaluation capabilities to ensure we deliver optimal value and efficiency over the course of this strategy.
We will continue to keep our service models under review and refine according to student and university needs cognisant of changing workforce models and patterns. We will leverage new technologies, digital tools and platforms and continue to develop and innovate.
DCU has matured as a university from its origins over 40 years ago. It is timely and opportune to develop a dedicated DCU Archives Service for the records and archives of DCU and its predecessor bodies both to support research and to collect and protect its organisation and institutional memory.
- We will progress a mature and comprehensive digital infrastructure leveraging additional value from our services, aligning all relevant aspects of our functions and collections and progress university systems integration initiatives.
- We will seek to establish a DCU Institutional Archives service to capture and preserve the unique records of the university.
- We will review and refresh a comprehensive and up to date suite of library policies and procedures.
- We will develop a comprehensive suite of meaningful Key Performance Indicators and enhance our data-intelligence capabilities for collection analysis and evaluation, ongoing service and process reviews, and to underpin effective decision making across our organisation.
- We will incorporate environmental considerations into our operational planning and delivery, working closely with relevant university units to reduce the environmental impact of our libraries.
- We do not work in isolation and will actively and continuously seek feedback and input from our community as we implement changes to services, systems, and processes.
Key DCU Relationships: ISS, Registry, President's Office, Estates, Office of the CEO
Connecting you to Knowledge, Connecting you to People.
The aim of these regulations is to ensure that a suitable study and learning environment is maintained throughout the library for all users. They require all users to take responsibility for their own behaviour and give due consideration to the needs of other library users.
- Library membership is conferred automatically on all registered students and University staff. External membership is available at the discretion of the University Librarian.
- If requested by a member of the library staff, users must show their current University Identity Card (staff and students) or Library Membership Card (others) at any time in the Library. These cards must also be shown at the Issue Desk by users wishing to borrow any library material. It is a breach of library regulations to allow another person to use one's Identity Card or Membership Card in connection with any use of the Library, or to use another person's card. Breaches may be referred to the Disciplinary Committee, and the Library may retain cards for collection by their owners.
Behaviour in the Library
- Mobile phones must be set to silent mode in the Library. Calls can only be made or received on the ground floor of the library and conducted in a manner that does not disturb others. All other areas are designated quiet zones and as such, users must refrain from making or receiving calls in these areas.
- Users must behave in an appropriate manner in the library. Noise should be kept to a minimum throughout the library, and a rule of silence is to be strictly observed in designated quiet study areas on the first and second floors.
- Users must not cause any disturbance that is likely to distract or inconvenience others.
- Users must not reserve reading/study places by leaving their belongings on tables of desks.
- Smoking is not allowed in the Library. This includes the use of e-cigarettes. Breaches of this regulation will be referred directly to the University Disciplinary Committee.
- Food cannot be consumed in the library. Water in non-spill bottles is permitted throughout the library. Hot or cold drinks (containers must have tops or lids) may be consumed on the ground floor only (except at workstations in the Information Commons).
- Library stock, equipment and fittings must not be damaged, defaced, removed without authorisation, concealed or otherwise interfered with. Any such damage, removal, concealment, interference or loss of any Library item must be reported to the Library immediately. The user responsible may be required to make good any consequent temporary or permanent loss or damage.
- No materials may be removed from the library without having been borrowed using the library's express service point or Issue Desk service.
- All items on loan are subject to recall at any time by the library.
- Library items may normally be borrowed in accordance with the appropriate procedures. Certain items, however, are either confined permanently to the library, or are available only on a restricted basis.
These regulations are the minimum consistent with the proper operation of library services for all members. Users who do not abide by the library regulations will be liable to a range of penalties including fines, referral to the Disciplinary Committee and/or withdrawal of library services
Details about external access and membership (TBC)
Mobile phones must be set to silent mode in the Library. Calls can only be made or received on the ground floor of the library and conducted in a manner that does not disturb others. All other areas are designated quiet zones and as such, users must refrain from making or receiving calls in these areas.
Before entering the Library please ensure:
- Ring tones are switched off
- Key tones are switched off
- Text message indicators are switched off
- Vibrating tones are switched off
If the policy is breached, the following sanction will be imposed:
- First breach - a note of this offence will be kept on file
- Second and subsequent breach: - €6 fine will be imposed, and borrowing rights will be suspended until the fine is cleared in full.
The Library recognises that DCU students and staff with children may need to bring their children to the library on rare occasions. Whilst the Library cannot facilitate children in general, it endeavours to offer the following support to these parents:
- Children accompanying library users will be permitted into the Library for a short period only which would allow library users:
- to return material, pay fines, collect a reserved item
- to retrieve a book from the shelves
- to avail of the photocopying service on the ground floor
- to seek advice a the Library's Information Desk
- During their brief visit to the Library, children must be fully supervised at all times by parents/guardians.
- Parents/guardians are fully responsible for their child's health and safety while in the Library.
- Children may not avail of the computers in the Library.
- Users must be aware that the Library is for study and learning purposes and should leave the Library if a child's behaviour causes a disturbance to others.
- Please note that because of restrictions imposed by the library's design, it may not be possible to allow access for some types of children's buggies or prams.
Groups of school children are occasionally invited to Cregan Library, they will always be supervised by teachers or responsible adults, and visits are strictly by invitation only.
|Cliona Ni Liathain
|Alana Mahon O'Neill
DCU Library has temporarily suspended the acceptance of donated books/textbooks for our general collection. It is expected that this will remain in place until early 2024
DCU Library conforms to national copyright regulations. Details of how to make permitted copies are available on DCU's Copyright Policy Page.
DCU Library’s Special Collections & Archives Directorate (SC&A) preserves, manages and provides access to research collections in line with international best practice. This collection development policy is a commitment to our users, communities, and university, and part of an ongoing process to ensure our approach is active and transparent.
2. Collecting Areas
We acquire extensive holdings through donations, bequests and strategic cooperation, developing valuable collections of early and modern manuscripts, early printed books, rare monographs, periodicals and pamphlets, and archives of leading national and international figures and organisations. Our research disciplines include education, literature, media and journalism, politics, philosophy and theology, where DCU has strong academic profiles.
3. Collecting Priorities
We prioritise visibility, expertise and connectedness. In developing and managing our collections, we have a number of strategic focuses:
- To acquire new collections, augment existing collections and identify emerging research themes distinctive to the University;
- To develop a theme around the University memory, its culture and its core research;
- To preserve in perpetuity, as part of the national and international documentary heritage, these and other unique, rare or distinct resources;
- To make collections available in a timely manner onsite and, where possible, online.
4. Collecting Considerations
Donations and acquisitions place substantial demands on our resources, and we have to manage the order in which we process and provide access to our collections. It is our policy to prioritise collections which relate directly to the University’s research priorities.
Where we are offered donations, or are prioritising existing collections, we will give precedence to projects where funding or resources are provided by donors or third parties. Any such assistance is warmly welcomed by the Library.
We actively gather information about our collections from the point of accessioning onwards, to manage and provide meaningful onsite and online access. For example, collections are often enhanced through donor oral histories and other individuals whose stories augment collections.
Although most of our collections are rooted in recognisable disciplines, many reflect the outstanding roles people or organisations have played as innovators, leaders and pioneers, creating new realities and legacies in their fields.
We have holdings in physical and digital formats. Our physical resources are stored in controlled environmental conditions, and can be consulted through the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room in the O’Reilly Library, Glasnevin Campus, Dublin 9. Our digital collections are managed onsite in DCU with professional partners to ensure their security, accessibility, and usability over time.
We will generally not collect or retain:
- Cuttings or clippings from or copies of periodicals or other publications;
- Reproductions or duplicates of material already held by DCU or by other repositories.
Policy review procedure: This policy will be reviewed and published annually.
Date at which this policy is due for review: July 2022