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.

Bridging the Gap Between Research & Practice

In this article Haddow and Klobas identified eleven different factors that contribute to the growing gap between research and practice in the LIS field. Based on current literature this article identified and defined those eleven factors, the authors then went on to offer suggestions on how these gaps could be bridged. However, it recognised that there has not been enough research done on this topic in order to lessen these gaps. Thus, it has highlighted a research area that both practitioners and researchers could collaborate on.

One of the key issues raised at a recent LAI seminar organised by the Career Development Committee highlighted the need for a forum where practitioners could discuss research but it also acknowledged that access to research was a key issue for those not working in academic libraries. This blog will try to address these issues by regularly posting discussion questions related to current literature.

The Haddow and Klobas article failed to mention where students fall into this gap. Some become researchers others practitioners and as the job market becomes more competitive, some find it difficult to find work in the LIS field due to lack of opportunities or gaps in their skill set. The idea for this blog came about after reading a lot of literature for a MLIS assignment and realising that there was no avenue to discuss the research we did. It is hoped that this blog will act as a platform for postgraduate LIS students to discuss their research interests or individual articles that raised points that they agreed or disagreed with. By engaging with the wider LIS community in these discussions it is hoped that we can make a small contribution to reducing the gap at least between students and practitioners.

The question that we are raising here is what do you think could lessen the gap between students/recent graduates and practitioners?

Share your views on Twitter using #SLIPIreland

Haddow, G., & Klobas, J. E. (2004). Communication of research to practice in library and information science: Closing the gap. Library & Information Science Research, 26(1), 26-43.

Jane Burns Guest Post


Communication is at the heart of everything a LIS student or professional engages in. We like connecting people to content that helps them develop new ideas and support the research they are investigating.

Understanding the first question is never really the “question” users are seeking answers to is a part of this skill set. As students you are learning a combination of theory and applications of LIS principles. The more tacit knowledge you will obtain from guest speakers, conference attendance and work experience. This kind of knowledge is life long and it will evolve on a constant basis.

By creating this Student LIS centred blog you are well on your way to further developing your communication skills. Sharing your ideas and skills in this format will allow you to engage with the wider LIS community in Ireland and beyond, will keep you anchored to each other no matter where your paths take you and you will in a very real way be contributing to the body of knowledge of our profession.

As someone who has had the pleasure to be your teacher, I know what each you individually and collectively can achieve. From a professional point of view I am delighted that this initiative is emerging- it will benefit us all.

For all your current and future readers I offer this advice…”Watch this space- you will be amazed at what you will learn!”

All the best wishes for success with this endeavour!

Jane Burns

11292807_10153296212485155_957898825_nJane Burns, MBA,MLIS, MPhil, FLAI is a Library and Information Services professional with over 20 years’ experience developing and managing a range of knowledge solutions in different environments, including Universities, Government, Educational, Science, Digital Media and Medical Education. Jane serves on the LAI Executive Council and the CPD Group. She is the Research Officer in the Health Professions Education Centre at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and is an Occasional Lecturer in the School of Information Studies at UCD.