Minister Phelan launches Banagher Open Library Project in County Offaly
Published: 30th March 2015
Ann Phelan, TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Rural Affairs today launched the Banagher Open Library.
‘‘Open Libraries is an exciting development in improving the link between communities and a key local authority service, the local library”, the Minister said. “Access to Open Libraries is encouraged and facilitated from early morning to late evening, seven days per week.”
Members of the participating branch libraries have access from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 pm each day with their membership card and a PIN when library staff are not on the premises.
Banagher Library, Tullamore Library and Tubbercurry Community Library in Co. Sligo are the three initial pilot Open Libraries. Most library services are available to the public on a self-service basis during the additional hours – borrowing and returning items, using the internet via library PCs or via Wi-Fi using their own devices, browsing, printing, photocopying, individual study and community activities and meetings. The hours when staff are in the library to assist the public are unchanged under this initiative.
Minister Phelan said “Open Libraries strengthen the prominence of the library service in local communities by providing a town’s only non-commercial, in-door meeting place.”
“I am pleased to learn that in Tullamore and Banagher, over 400 users have now signed up for Open Library membership, and are enthusiastically using the libraries during the extended hours”, Minister Phelan added, saying she was “delighted that the local communities have embraced the initiative so positively.”
Minister Phelan thanked the library staff in the Open Libraries. “I recognise these pilots could not have been such a success without the cooperation and commitment of the staff in the libraries. The staff are to be complimented for the success, as well as the users.”
With the success of the pilot Open Libraries, Minister Phelan said “I would welcome more local authorities endorsing this initiative, to the benefit of their customers and the communities they serve.”