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Using the Library

Library services available

The James Hardiman Library has reopened to staff and students, to study in the Library you must reserve a seat in order to gain access, further information can be found here.  Click on the links below to find out about Library services that are available to users.

Academic Writing Centre

The AWC is now open for virtual appointments and workshops.

To book an email consultation, contact with your student number and your year of study and subject. We will get back to you within a day with a list of questions that will help us to understand how we can help you. Once we get your answers, we will send you a detailed response within two days. 

Phone consultations are reserved for students registered with the Disability Support Services. To book a session, please email with your year of study, student number and the times when you can be contacted. Please also confirm that you are registered with the DSS. Please let us know whether you prefer to chat over the phone or on Zoom. We will get back to you within a day with a date and time. 

Workshops: we meet once a week. Details for the meetings are announced on the events & training page, on the Hardiblog, and on Twitter (@AwcNuig).  

Our summer intervention is part of the project, Retention and Writing at NUI Galway, generously funded by the Student Project Fund. 

Accessing information resources

If you are a registered student or member of staff, it is possible to access all online information resources from off-campus. Simply follow the database links from the Library Catalogue and login as directed.  It is essential to login otherwise the service provider will not recognise you as being from NUI Galway. For more information, please go to our page on Off-Campus Services.

Archives and Special Collections Reading Room

The Archives and Special Collections Reading Room will be open at reduced capacity between Monday 20th July and Friday 25th September. The reading room will be open Monday and Friday only between 10.00-12.30 and 13.30-16.00. You must book in advance to take advantage of this service. Please consult the Special Collections page for more details.

Borrowing and returning items

We are now operating a Click & Collect service for users. Remember many of the library’s books are available as e-books through the Library Catalogue.  If the book you need is not available as an e-book, please let us know at and we’ll purchase an e-book edition if available. 

NOTE: During the COVID-19 pandemic library material should be returned to the 'Book Return' box just outside the Library entrance. 

Material is removed from this box daily and the books removed from users' accounts.

Click & collect

As part of our phased reopening of the campus, the James Hardiman Library and Shannon College Libraries are operating a click & collect service for users. For more information, visit the Click & Collect webpage.

Digital repository services

Please visit our digital repository webpage for information on the various platforms available for users.  This page includes links to our Institutional Repository, Digital Collections, Archives and Digital Exhibitions.  We are endeavouring to continue to provide a limited digitisation chapter scanning service to staff during the closure. Please contact us at for more information.

Submissions (PhD thesis and publications) to the ARAN repository are being processed and authors will be notified by email when their submission is available on ARAN.

Service desk Tickets and Emails to are checked daily and users contacted.

One-on-one online consultations are available: request an online meeting with one of our experts on any of the following:

  • Digital projects, tools, technology, and methods
  • Open publishing, digitisation, copyright and identifiers, 
  • Digital repository services (for digital archives), 
  • Web hosting for digital exhibitions (using Omeka).
  • Digital publishing support and guidance for open-access and alternative publishing models.
  • Please email for more information

Ensure Access to Online Collections for Online Exams (Academic Staff)

Additional assignments as a replacement for a written exam:

  • If you require additional information resources and readings email and we can purchase e-books to support students
  • Make use of the Reading List system to ensure students can link to readings from off-campus with no authentication issues

  Open book exam:

  • Contact to ensure e-books are available on an unlimited concurrent access basis.  This will help to avoid students being locked out of the e-book during the exam

  Access to e-books:

  • Not all books are available in e-book format, but we have been negotiating hard with publishers and have had some success in obtaining e-access for students. Please do let us know what material your students need and we’ll try to get access.  As some books are unavailable as an e-book, it would be helpful if you could suggest alternatives texts or let us know if there is a specific chapter that is of most importance.
  • Publishers are opening some of their content on a temporary basis in response to the current crisis,  we are including this information in our catalogue as quickly as we can.  Check on publisher websites to see if the content you require is now openly available. 

Inter-library loans

The Inter-Library Loans service is available on a best effort basis. Requests may be placed in the usual manner via the Library website.

For patrons with material currently on loan these have been renewed with the lending Libraries and no fines will accrue for the duration of the closure. 

Print materials cannot currently be supplied on inter-library loan. As most of our monograph requests are supplied in print format, monograph requests will remain challenging. However when possible, we will supply a monograph request with an electronic book, where available.

The supply of article requests should be possible on a case-by-case basis, and all fulfilled article requests will be sent directly to the patron in PDF format. Patrons should read the delivery email as instructions on how to open their article are contained therein. In some cases they will need to download software to view the article, so please read the email carefully. Any queries in this regard may be sent to  

Please note that this service is dependent on other institutions maintaining their document delivery services and as such may be withdrawn at short notice if additional restrictions are implemented

Library guides and tutorials

We have a vast range of Library guides available for students, researchers and staff.  For ease of use the guides are segmented by College, please go to Library Guides and Tutorials for more information. Here you will find additional resources on Citing and Referencing, Information Skills and Using Endnote.

MakerSpace: 3D prints, workshops and equipment rental

You can request 3D prints and equipment as usual through the MakerSpace website and collect them during click & collect hours. See the MakerSpace website for information on upcoming online workshops. 

Open Access to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research

Leading publishers are gathering publications, datasets and other material on novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please find a list of freely available content to assist researchers, medical professionals, policy makers, and others who are working to address this health crisis: COVID-19 Information Resources.

Open Education Resources 

The following are a list of OER’s which we recommend.

OER Commons >
Includes all kinds of educational resources from complete university courses to open textbooks, interactive, web-based activities and lesson plans. It can be searched by subject and education level.

MERLOT includes educational materials in many different formats, with the ability to filter in the Advanced Material Search according to Subject, Audience (i.e. Third-Level or not), Material Quality (i.e. peer reviewed or not) and by license.

Open Textbook Library >
Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost.

OpenStax >
Another excellent source of open textbooks.

Reading List System

The Reading List System will be fully available from off-campus both for students to access existing reading lists and for academic staff to create new reading lists.  View full information on using the Reading Lists System

Scan & Deliver

We now offer a free electronic document delivery service for book chapters and journal articles. Submit your request to the library and we'll scan and deliver it to you via email. We will do our best to fulfill requests as quickly as possible but this may not always be possible due to availability, copyright restrictions, size and condition of materials. Submit your request now. 

Special Collections & Archives off campus resources

Information on how to access Special Collections & Archives resources can be found here.

Suggesting new material

We will continue to process suggestions for new material while the Library is closed, however we will be ordering only e-book editions, as staff will not be available to receive delivery of physical material.  We will seek e-book editions of any material suggested and if available will purchase the e-book edition.  These will be available via the Library Catalogue within two working days.  Suggestions that are not available as an e-book will be processed when the Library reopens.