Friday 11 January 2019

National Library of Ireland requests feedback on service changes

Over the last 18 months, the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has made significant changes to some of its services to researchers. The most striking has been the all-day Monday closure of its Reading Rooms, which was introduced to facilitate extensive redevelopment work on the physical fabric of the Library.

I'm not sure of the official reason given for subsequently (January 2018) introducing 24-hour advance bookings to the Manuscripts Reading Room, but I've heard loud grumbles from professional genealogists and historians about the inconvenience of this step and its disruption to research sessions.

In my experience, there is always a danger these kinds of restrictions, labelled as 'temporary' when introduced for distinct and understandable reasons, become permanent. Not for the benefit of the customer or user, of course, but for the convenience of the provider. For convenience, read cost-saving.

The reinstatement of the original opening hours and service levels is now up for review.

The NLI is looking for user feedback on the impact of the 'temporary' service changes via an online survey. It doesn't take long to complete (5 minutes), and I would urge NLI-users to spare that small amount of time to record your views. You are not required to provide your name or email address. You'll find the survey here: All submissions need to be received by 21 January.