The new Offaly County Library, Tullamore was officially opened by Minister Phil Hogan, TD on Monday, February 4.
The spacious new library opened last August 2012 and already there have been 72,000 visits made by children and adults in the past six months. 60,000 books and DVDs/games have already been issued on loan, and 4,500 new members have joined.
The library carries a collection of 39,000 items with improved collections for Teens, Children and Adults. New digital collections include online searchable local newspapers, ebooks and e audiobooks.
New opening hours are in place and the library now opens 48 hours a week with Monday to Saturday opening including lunch times and evening openings.
Tullamore Central Library is now almost completely self service and with the introduction of Smart Kiosk enabling members to carry out key library services.
The cost of the project was €2.2m funded by capital grant aid from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (€1.2m) and Offaly County Council (€1m)
The extension and alterations to Tullamore Central Library were designed by Local Architectural firm, Kenny Lyons & Associates. The design team also included MJ Turley & Associates Quantity Surveyors, Dermot O’Keeffe & Associates Structural Engineers and Noel Lawler Consulting Engineers.
Local artists Rowena Keaveny, Jock Nichol, Caroline Conway and Michelle O’Donnell were commissioned to provide the beautiful public art on display.
Laois/Offaly TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said the investment of €2.2 million in the library has provided a public resource than can be used by everyone in the community from pupils in primary schools to pensioners.
She commented, “Library users can now enjoy the open plan library with access to a dedicated local history area, a multi-purpose ICT and e-learning space, community meeting areas, outdoor reading and events space, study areas and improved child and teen spaces. It also carries a collection of 39,000 items aimed towards children, teens and adults. A new digital collection includes local newspapers, e-books and e-audiobooks.
“The library is a magnificent cultural and architectural addition to Tullamore’s O’Connor Square as well as a dynamic public space that has potential for use by everyone from around the county.”