idaal – Intellectual Disabilities and Allied Libraries


The website,, was launched on Monday 10 March, by Mary Hanafin TD, Minister of State in the Department of the Taoiseach, in the St John of God Conference Centre, Stillorgan.

idaal is a consortium of Intellectual Disability Libraries established to provide easy and comprehensive access to up-to-date information in the fields of intellectual disabilities, mental health and related subjects, thereby supporting research, best practice and education in our services.

The librarians involved in the development of the idaal consortium are:

St John of God Services: Brigid Kennedy
Daughters of Charity Service: Vivienne O’Herlihy, Orla O’Connell
Sisters of Charity of Jesus & Mary: Sue Faulkner
St Michael’s House: Patsy Carton
Stewart’s Hospital: Siobhan O’Neill

The participating organisations have a total workforce of over 6000 and provide services to approximately 8000 children, adolescents and adults in the fields of intellectual disabilities, mental health and care of the elderly. The development of the consortium is part of the wider strategies of these organisations to develop learning organisations that are committed to continuous professional development among their staff and to providing quality services for all service-users. Meeting the information needs of staff and parents helps too achieve this goal.

It was decided to pool the resources of the five libraries and to collectively subscribe to web-based information services. idaal .com provides access to journal holdings, and electronic access to over 400 full-text journals. Databases such as MEDLINE (medical/health), PsycINFO (psychology and allied health) and CINAHL with Full Text (nursing and allied health), ERIC (education) and Cochrane (evidence-based medicine) provide access to millions of indexed and abstracted articles, book chapters and reports of relevance to all areas of health and medicine. An extensive list of links is provided to other related websites. Some elements of the site (databases and online journals) are accessible only to staff and parents of the participating organisations and are password protected.