Happy ending for Enniskillen Library

IT may not look like it from the outside, but Enniskillen Library is going nowhere and neither are some of its most renowned collections.

Local book lovers were concerned for its future because of the dilapidated state of the building along with rumours that its Heritage Collection may be moved to another library due to senior staff retirements.

However, NI Libraries confirmed to the Herald that worried readers in the county had nothing to be concerned about.


“Libraries NI [will] continue to work with the Department for Communities to secure the necessary major capital funding to take forward the delivery of the new library building,” an NI Libraries spokeswoman said.

“Pending release of funding to commence construction of the new library building, Libraries NI continues to maintain the existing facilities and to ensure the building remains safe and accessible to customers.

“Temporary fencing is in place to reduce the potential risks from spalling concrete and to allow us to continue to provide a library service for the people of Enniskillen.”

There were also worries that senior staff who had recently retired in the library’s Heritage Collection section would not be replaced, leading to rumours that the collection may be moved from Enniskillen to another library.

The main Heritage Collection for Fermanagh is located in Enniskillen Library and contains over 40,000 volumes relating to Irish studies and local history.

As well as important items from the Nawn Collection, the Heritage Collection also contains local Labour history archives which many people would not want moved out of the Enniskillen area.

But, once again, the local authority moved quickly to ease people’s fears.


“Libraries NI wants to reassure everyone that the intention is for the new library to continue to host the Heritage Collection and that there are no plans to relocate other collections including the Nawn Collection, the Labour History Archives and resources pertaining to the area,” the Libraries NI spokeswoman said.

“When construction commences, there may be temporary relocation of services and collections to an alternative location within the town and some resources may be housed in other Libraries NI locations while construction works are progressed, but would be available and sent to Enniskillen on request.

“Libraries NI also wants to allay any concerns regarding staff support to customers using the Heritage Resources.

“Senior Heritage managers provide support to customers on both a local and regional basis, supporting library-based colleagues in responding to customer enquiries.”

A business case proposing a new library facility for Enniskillen was approved by the Department for Communities in 2020 following which a design team was appointed, plans for the new library were developed and planning approval was granted in June 2021.

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