Spotlight on St.Michael’s Hospital Library and Information Service

Image of three computers and potted plants on desks with chairs in foreground. Location: St. Michael's Hospital Library.
Image courtesy of St. Michael’s Hospital

The hospital was opened on 12 June 1876 and is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. It is a general hospital providing a range of acute and specialised hospital services. It is a small hospital with 130 inpatient beds incorporating 7-day, 5-day and day care facilities. The hospital cares for both medical and surgical patients, as well as providing outpatient clinics and services such as Cardiac Rehabilitation, Diabetes Treatment, Heart Failure Treatment, Pulmonary Rehabilitation and an 8am – 8pm Emergency Department. St. Michael’s is part of the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group and has strong clinical links with St. Vincent’s University Hospital and is a medical and nursing teaching hospital affiliated to U.C.D.

The Library & Information Service (LIS) is located in the old conservatory in what was formerly St. Michael’s Private Hospital. The service is for staff and students only and is not accessible to the public.

The LIS is a shared service with St. Vincent’s University Hospital, which means that although we report to separate management teams and operate in different hospitals, we have a shared library catalogue and shared electronic resources collections. I actively engage with the librarians in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, who are a wonderful source of support and inspiration.


The fact that the library is located in the conservatory means that it has one of the best views of the sea in the entire building. I made a lot of changes to the physical layout when I took over, opening up the main space, moving around shelving to create more light and getting additional computers installed so that there are more resources available to staff. It is a small room, but the changes have helped create a feeling of space and make best use of the natural light. There have been lots of compliments about the look and feel, although I do get the occasional request to put in some beanbags!

Image of St. Michael's Hospital Library interior, bookcases and desks..


The Library & Information Service is staffed 9-5, Monday to Friday. The Library is open to all staff of St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Vincent’s University Hospital and any staff or students on placement in either of the hospitals. Staff use their staff ID swipe-cards to gain access to the Library.

Visit the Library website here and follow on Twitter @svhglibrary.

Image of desks and bookcases in St. Michael's Hospital Library

About the Author

Image of Caroline RowanCaroline is a latecomer to the world of information management. Prior to completing her MLIS is 2013, she worked in financial services for 13 years, in a variety of roles including branch and business banking, legal and compliance, business strategy and website development.  After graduation, she worked as a librarian in the University Hospital in Limerick and then in the University of Limerick. She has been a solo librarian in St. Michael’s Hospital since November 2014.

Caroline is an active advocate for the information profession. She has been a Communications Officer for the Health Sciences Library Group of the LAI, working with fellow officer Diarmuid Stokes to publish HINT: Health Information News and Thinking, the HSLG newsletter, managing the HSLG website and organising a number of the HSLG conferences.

She is part of the team which established HEAR: Health Evidence Awareness Report, a national health newsletter designed by a collaboration of health librarians, which delivers useful content for both patients and healthcare practitioners.  She was also actively involved in the development of Rudai23, a 23 Things Collaboration. This is an online course designed to teach information professionals about web technologies and skills they need to succeed in modern librarianship. The course can be viewed at The course went live in July 2015 and had 185 participants from a variety of countries. Her role involved researching and drafting several of the course modules as well as moderating participant blogs, providing encouragement and feedback. The course was certified by the LAI for CPD purposes and is being used by some participants as part of their ALAI associateship and CILIP chartership paths.

She is currently involved in a number of internal hospital projects, including the installation of a new library management system.

Spotlight on Cregan Library, St. Patrick’s College

st_pats_library_collageSt. Patrick’s College opened in 1875 to meet the teacher training needs of a denominational primary school system but over the years it has grown to include post-graduate and doctoral programmes and established humanities programmes which have led to a holistic approach to education.

The library has existed in some form or another as far back as 1884! The last version of the library was built in the 1980s and was in need of a revamp for some years before we moved into a new four-story library building earlier this year. Lots of planning and work went into the move – for example we integrated the collections of our ‘Resource Centre’ into the library and RFID tagged over 160,000 items in preparation for self-issue kiosks.

In February of 2015 the new, improved library opened and currently provides seating to just under 400 people.


Flexible library space

I work in the information service and moving into the bright, colourful new building has been a great boost for staff morale, as students and College staff have given lots of positive feedback about what a nice place the library is to study and meet in. It provides a variety of seating to facilitate various types of learners; from a bookable group study room, egg-shaped lounge-chairs in the lobby, and individual study booths, to (of course) bean-bags for relaxing in! There are quiet areas and louder areas so that people can have a chat and coffee on the ground floor, but must engage in silent study on the top floor.

Archive room

We have several special collections which are now housed in a purpose-built, temperature-controlled archive room. These special collections have been built up over the long history of the library, and reflect a rich tradition in education and Irish children’s literature, as well as Irish history. They include (but are not limited to!): a schools text book collection, Junior special collections (Padraic Colum, Patricia Lynch) and P.W.Joyce and Henry Morris collections.

Accessing the Library

The library is open to staff and students of the College during term-time from 9am- 10pm Mon-Thurs & 5pm on Fri. We open from 10am- 1pm on Saturdays. During the Summer months we open office hours Mon-Fri.

The ground floor of the library is open to the public, and tours for interested groups/individuals can be arranged on request (email This year on Culture Night (Friday 18th September) the entire Library will be open to the public and feature special events and exhibitions.  For more info keep an eye on the Culture Night website and our own website/social media accounts, below.

Location: Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9.
Twitter: @LibraryStPats

About the Author

Genevieve Larkin @Genevievelagen

Library assistant (Síol information and research support/distance service co-ordinator)

Genevieve started working in St. Patrick’s College Library in 2008 while studying in DCU and later completed an M.LIS from RGU. Prior to joining the College she worked for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown co/co in public libraries. Genevieve is currently the secretary of the LAI Career Development Group and her professional interests include the use of emerging technologies in libraries and archives, continuing professional development for librarians, information and digital literacies, and library advocacy.