Senator Aisling Dolan - Strong Voice, New Vision.

7 Day Access to Ballinasloe Library with New Funding

July 26, 2022

7 Day Access to Ballinasloe Library with New Funding

New Government funding has been announced to improve library facilities in Ballinasloe, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Aisling Dolan was speaking as Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Tuesday, July 26th) announced an investment of over €3.1 million in 46 library branches across the country.

Our libraries are a fantastic resource in our towns and with funding of €30,000 announced by my colleague Minister Heather Humphreys the library in Ballinasloe will soon be open from 8am to 10pm seven day a week.

I’m delighted that Ballinasloe is the first location in County Galway to roll out the ‘My Open Library’ initiative which will bring self-service facilities to our local library. Other locations in Clifden and Oranmore will also be joining this initiative.

Families, students, young and old can visit the library from Monday to Sunday and decide to read the newspaper or catch up on study assignment or just the luxury of the latest bestseller and some peace and quiet. Audio books are also a great way to relax and enjoy the spoken word. People will have access to printing, scanning and photocopying services and this could be important for people applying to jobs and meeting project deadlines.

Anyone using the ‘My Open Library’ Service will register and sign up as a member and with an induction will be given a code and pin to access the library. Children will need parents or a guardian to come along with them. I know that limited access to the library during lockdown was difficult for so many especially college students preparing for exams and needing space to study.

To pay tribute to our library staff in Society Street and facilities teams in Galway County Council for a successful project application to the Department of Rural & Community Development. The My open Library Initiative is starting a pilot phase and plans to open to the public this Autumn. It brings innovative approaches to open up access to our libraries and make such a huge impact in our day to day lives. 

Growing up in Ballinasloe, I was a big fan of our old library and especially reading new books over the summertime. Now there is so much for people to explore & enjoy in our modern new library space so do take some time next time in town to check it out and delve into classics. It’s also a great space for visitors and tourists to our town to find out what’s happening in town. Usually the library is running exhibitions as well as an international women’s coffee morning on Thursday mornings at 11am as well as calling over on a Friday morning to our Country Market across the road in the Emerald Ballroom.  This development will have a real impact for families all around Ballinasloe in East Galway & South Roscommon.

So… when was your last visit to Ballinasloe library? Now is your chance to register with ‘My Open Library’ and visit anytime it suits morning, afternoon or night!”

Minister Humphreys made the announcement as the World Library Congress opens in Dublin. The event is hosting approximately 1700 delegates from 100 countries.

Announcing the €3.1 million investment, Minister Humphreys said: “I’m delighted to make this announcement as the World Library Congress opens in Dublin, and runs over three days.

Supporting our libraries is a key priority of mine as Minister for Rural and Community Development.

They provide such essential services to people, both young and old, and this funding will give so many more people greater access to their local branch.

It reflects the fact too that some people like to visit their library early in the morning or late in the evening due to work commitments.

I’m delighted that are in a position to roll the initiative out in these additional branches.

The Minister concluded: “’My Open Library’ is the flagship initiative under the current Public Libraries Strategy ‘Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities’. 

It will also form an important part of the successor to the current public library which my Department is currently working on.  I would like to thank all those that took the time to respond to the recent public consultation on the development of the new strategy.  I look forward to considering these responses and to the opening of further My Open Library facilities into the future.