Glucksman Library, University of Limerick, Ireland – incunabulae and vinyl

Written by Jesse Waters

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The Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick is a dynamic and inspiring library located on the suburban campus of the University of Limerick, a research focused university with a student population of 15,000 in the city of Limerick, Ireland. In September 2018, a 7,600 sq. metres library extension was unveiled to reveal a sequence of interlinked, well-lit, and beautifully proportioned spaces ranging from the quiet traditional study space to vibrant and technology-infused social and collaborative spaces. The new library has an additional 1,200 study places in a variety of learning styles that brings the total number of library study spaces to 2,200.

It is a modern library that embraces technology and contains physical spaces with distinctive character, allowing for mood change and multiple uses. At the beginning of the semester, you are likely to be greeted by our team of library peer advisors. These are current students employed by the library to assist patrons use library facilities and technology in an effort to reduce library anxiety and increase student success, and are very popular with the student body.

It is a busy library with a great sense of energy, and has become a go-to place for students and staff to learn together. Our café, the Plaza, is one of the busiest on campus and staff and students alike flock here daily.

A key asset of the library is the provision of unique and versatile study spaces. We have a number of grand reading rooms, each with double-height ceilings and flooded with natural light, and traditional carrel style seats for intensive individual study. The library provides access to 25 bookable group study spaces including a data visualisation lab, media production room, practise presentation room, a faculty reading room, and a mock appellate courtroom with broadcasting and recording facilities which also doubles as a room to host events and mini-conferences. A Graduate Commons including a mix of single and collaborative study spaces, computer workstations, and social/ interactive space is available specifically to postgraduate students and researchers.

Central to the newest wing of the library is a vault which contains the book retrieval system. The decision to install an automated storage and retrieval system was based on the valuable floor space it released for study and the capacity it provided for future collection growth. The development of the ARC – Automated Reserve Collection, the first on-site in a university library in Europe, to store lesser used books gives the library capacity to store c.500,000 volumes that are easily accessible on site. This short video shows you how UL’s ARC works, the ground floor of the library also features a viewing window where patrons and visitors can see the ARC in action.

The library houses a variety of collections that support university teaching and research, and a popular reading room which includes a growing vinyl record collection. The Special Collections and Archives department of the library preserves and provides access to unique and distinct materials including rare books, manuscripts, archives and other primary sources.  In recent years the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick successfully assumed care of the Bolton Library, a collection of 12,000 early printed books, manuscripts and incunabulae of exceptional academic and bibliographic importance. Our state-of-the-art Special Collections and Archives facility provides environmentally controlled strongrooms, a supervised reading room, an exhibition area, a training room for teaching, and space for archivists, conservators, and special collections staff to work comfortably.

Adjacent to the entrance, the i Zone provides a flexible information and engagement space with a range of services and information points in one place for ease of access including library, IT, disability, peer advisors, and visitor services. It is the location for the self-service short-loan collection, laptop lending service, and collaborative learning spaces.

The Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick welcomes visitors and has a range of access options that the public may avail of. Visits are encouraged outside of the academic year i.e. from June to late August and over the Christmas holiday period in late December to mid-January but we can try to accommodate visits as they arise. Visit the library’s website to arrange your visit

You can find the Glucksman Library on both Instagram and Twitter as @ULLibrary

Glucksman Library

University of Limerick

V94 T9PX Limerick

GL – 2019 – JW pg. 6


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