A new chapter for academic libraries led by IT Carlow’s Dr. Delaney


Academic libraries were faced with an unprecedented challenge when COVID-19 closed their doors mid-March 2020. In an initiative led by Dr. Mary Delaney, Head of Library and Information Services IT Carlow, eight Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) libraries prepared an article describing their response to COVID-19 challenges from March-August 2020. 

The article, which is now available in the current special edition of AISHE-J The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education Vol 1, outlines how library services were delivered online, how libraries supported staff and students, planned their reopening and prepared for the academic year 2020-2021. As outlined in the editorial, Dr. Delaney and colleagues present the experience of eight academic libraries as traditional library services were replaced with online communication technologies and library staff worked to ensure student and staff maintained access to collections and resources. The article presents a snapshot of THEA's experience over this six- month period, how it responded to the pandemic, and discusses both the value of collaboration across the sector and the benefits of this collaborative approach in a time of crisis.

Mr. David Denieffe, Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs IT Carlow, commended the head of library and information services and colleagues from across the country for their article.  

“Libraries play a critical role in supporting teaching, learning and research activities and this was borne out again during COVID-19 when our THEA libraries continued to provide extensive and innovative library services to staff and students. The article reflects the collaborative nature of THEA libraries and the important work they do in our sector”, said Mr. Denieffe.

The eight THEA libraries are: Institute of Technology Carlow; Athlone Institute of Technology; Dundalk Institute of Technology; Galway Mayo Institute of Technology; Institute of Art and Design Dun Laoghaire; Waterford Institute of Technology; Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee. Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee are now Munster Technological University.

The article is available at:  Delaney et al. (2020) Delivering library services in a time of crisis: Technological Higher Education Association libraries responding to COVID-19 from March-August 2020, All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (AISHE-J), Vol. 12, No. 3. pp. 1-16, available here