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.