The DBI library is primarily biblical, with special emphasis on biblical research...
Another task that has been given to me is the re-distribution of the DBI library in such a way that the books of most use to our students of the DBI (and whatever comes afterwards) are available here in Limerick, while books that are of less use in Limerick, but more use to graduate researchers or even to undergraduates beyond level 6, which is the level of the Diploma go to the libraries used by these groups and individuals. In that way, the Limerick library, which has a shelf life (literally!), like any other product can bear a fruit in some way related to its substantial cost. Although expenditure was reduced in 2007, we completely stopped buying books for the library two years ago. Year by year it is of slightly less interest to researchers, who need the latest publications.
On the other hand, one of the great benefits of our changed domestic arrangements last year was that because classes and public lectures took place in the library, people felt more at home when they wished to find something to help with an essay, or more general reading. If the redistribution of the library is done well, the books available in Limerick will be even more inviting and accessible.
It is hoped to maintain the catalogue of the present DBI library in use. In this way the location of the individual books can be indicated, and any book that was once in the DBI library made available to any user of that library.
The future of the upper floor in the DBI is still being debated, and obviously everything else mentioned in this letter is affected by the decisions in that regard. Fr Jordan O’Brien and the Dominican community of the Dominican Priory in Glentworth St around the corner have offered a fine lecturing space to us both for class-type lectures and for public lectures. The Priory can also house the books just mentioned.
Although a speedy solution to negotiations about the upper floors would be welcome, we hope to be able to continue to use them as we did last year until everything is signed and sealed. Anybody who has been involved in legal negotiations about property knows that these things can take a great deal of time.