LISNASKEA’S latest pride and joy, a brand new £1.28m library, opened its doors last week and it proved an instant hit with users.
Mary McManus, who lives in Drumhaw Park near the ‘old’ library, was there with her grand-daughter, Cathy Ann.
“I thought the new library was beautiful. Cathy Ann loves the books and she took four out. No, while, naturally, I was sorry to see it go out of Drumhaw, there was hardly any room to park there, in fairness.”
No such problems with the new library, either front or rear.
It extends to two floors, with the children’s library located on the ground floor, centred around a huge Viking boat with inbuilt seating.
This floor also contains dedicated children’s computers and study areas and, also, modern seating for parents and children and a comfortable reading area with a coffee machine at the ready.
The first floor allows free access to computers and the internet, newspaper browsing and space to stage exhibitions.
Both floors have Wi-Fi access throughout as well as access to baby changing and facilities with people with disabilities.
The library also offers a conference room that can seat up to 15 people that can be booked for use inside as well as outside opening hours. It has a white board and a film projector and users have the use of a nearby kitchen.
The upper floor is served by a lift, there are toilets on each floor and, on each floor, there is a bank of five computers.
The new full-time staff are Violet Smith and Paula Peers and, according to Stephen Bleakley, the area manager with Libraries NI, there has been ‘a tremendous feedback’ from the local community.
“We’ve had nothing but an enthusiastic welcome and support from both local community groups as well as customers. Everyone loves the children’s section. It is what it was designed for, an area for the children and comfortable seating for the parents.”
The official opening of the new library will take place some time after the first week in May.
The new library is open five days a week (not Monday or Sunday), namely – Tuesday 1pm-7pm; Wednesday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-5pm; Friday 10am-5pm, and Saturday, 10am-1pm