It’s almost one month on from the opening of Tullamore’s new library on O’Connor Square and already almost 13,000 books have been checked out by just over 11,000 library visitors.
Users are also taking to the library’s new self service technology like ducks to water according to county librarian Mary Stuart, with 68 per cent of items checked in and out by users themselves without assistance from library staff.
Tullamore’s long-awaited library opened its doors on August 8 last.
On that day a whopping 835 visitors were welcomed to the building designed by Peter Lyons of Kenny Lyons architects.
The new community facility boasts a large seating area, meeting areas, self service facilities, internet and free Wi-Fi.
Visitor numbers haven’t let up since the library’s opening day either. According to Ms Stuart the library has welcomed 11,126 visitors, who between them have borrowed 12,846 items. Internet and Wi-Fi facilities have been used by over 1,000 people since August 8, while the new library has also tempted a massive 1,273 people to become library members during the month of August.
“There are quiet and noisy spaces with kids enjoying lots of new books, games and DVDs,” Ms Stuart described. “Teenagers love playing chess in the new designed space for teenagers. The seating area to the front is popular with magazine and daily newspaper readers.”
Library users can also enjoy public art by local artists including Rowena Keaveny, Jock Nichol, Caroline Conway and Michelle O’Donnell. There is a dedicated Irish and local studies rooms too, with access to all aspects of local history relating to Offaly. Ms Stuart said staff are also currently digitising all newspapers from 1881 to date.
Other new services provided by the library include eBooks and eAudiobooks, which can be directly downloaded from the website to smart phones or laptops. These are available at www.offaly.ie/libraries.