Posted by: bluesyemre | September 28, 2017

How can a new #library connect and inspire communities? (Interview with Marian T. Keyes)


To learn more about how libraries can become a vibrant center of learning and creativity at the heart of the community, we have talked with Marian Thérèse Keyes from dlr LexIcon in Ireland who will share some practices from her experience.

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your activity in the library world?

I have been the Librarian and book festival/events programmer of dlr LexIcon, the flagship central library and cultural center in Dún Laoghaire since December 2014 when dlr LexIcon opened to the public. I have always enjoyed working with the public and I am passionate about better opportunities and access for all.

2. We are all aware of the library crisis in the UK but how is the situation in Ireland? What challenges do you face?

Thankfully, the public library service in Ireland is in a much better state than in the UK. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Public Library Service has 8 branch libraries and is one of the 4 Dublin local authorities. Thanks to successive, enlightened national policies such as Branching Out-Future Directions 2008-2012 and Opportunities for All: A Strategy for public libraries 2013-2017, there has been significant investment in the Library Service.

At a local level, this has translated into a capital programme that led to the major refurbishment of 4 dlr branch libraries and not forgetting the opening of dlr LexIcon in 2014. Thanks to this kind of investment, opening hours have increased substantially in the past 5 years and demand is growing from users for even more access. The Open Library model is currently being explored and the Virtual Library will be exploited to full potential in the coming years.

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