Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the news this week that the Douglas Pop-Up Library has begun at Douglas Community Centre, three times-a-week. Douglas Library will pop-up on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Douglas Community Centre from Thursday 07 November to Saturday 21 December. The part-time opening hours will be Thursday will be 2.30 pm-7.30 pm, Friday 10am-1pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. Douglas Library Service has noted: “Come along and choose from our specially selected collection of brand new books for all ages, or read your favourite newspaper or magazine. Special events and activities for children; keep an eye on our website and social media pages for details as they are announced”.
Director of Services Adrienne Rogers has also highlighted that the City Council is also making progress in restoring a full library service in Douglas on an interim basis. This would be in a smaller location than the Library damaged by the fire, but would be on the basis of a 5-day, 40 hours per week service. It is expected that there would be some refurbishment to be carried out to enable this interim solution, and Council Officials are urgently progressing this matter. Refurbishment is likely to take a number of months, and more detailed information will be provided to councillors in the near future.
As Douglas Library was a lending facility, like other local libraries, one third approximately of the stock was in circulation outside of the premises at the time of the fire, and this stock will be available to initiate the resumption of service in Douglas. The Council is in discussions with the relevant government department to secure funding for additional stock, and is hopeful of a positive outcome.
Cllr McCarthy noted; “Douglas Library is a cultural focal point in the village and has a high membership with adults and in particular younger people using it. It also hosted a large number of weekly community events, which attracted a lot of interested local people. It is imperative that the permanent library is got up and running again. I am also very happy that Douglas Community Centre is a partner in the pop-up-library as they themselves provide amazing community services locally.
“There are also moves afoot to make provision for local organisations who wish to help with collections of donations of books for the new full Douglas library to be restored sometime during 2020. More information on this donation mechanism is to come forward to the public very shortly”, noted Cllr McCarthy.
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Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has highlighted that re-opening Douglas Library is a must in the short term for Douglas Village. At the recent Culture, Community and Place-making Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) of Cork City Council Cllr McCarthy noted; “Douglas Library is a focal point in the village and has a high membership with adults and in particular younger people using it. It also hosted a large number of weekly community events, which attracted a lot of interested local people”.
Cork City Council officials fear the damage caused to Douglas library following the recent shopping centre fire is worse than first imagined, with over 40,000 books and other items covered in soot from the blaze. The local authority is working on creating a replacement service for the library, but staff do not yet know the amount of the damage to computers and other electronic equipment in the library.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Information given to me at the recent SPC and to those present noted that currently a cost analysis is being done to see what books can be saved and cleaned and what books need to be destroyed. The Library Service is also seeking advice from the Department of Local Government and sought an urgent meeting to see what rescue funding mechanisms are available”.
Mr Liam Ronayne, City Librarian, has articulated that the library’s position on the first floor of the Douglas Village Shopping Centre put it in close vicinity to where the blaze commenced on 31 August, meaning the facility has also suffered damage from the thousands of litres of water poured into the car park to extinguish the fire. The contents of many books are covered in a film of soot throughout the Library, worse in the northern side of the building nearer the car park. All of the stock, over 40,000 items, has been covered in soot, both along the edges and inside the individual books. Unfortunately, the delay in getting access meant that it is going to be more problematic to try and alleviate the situation.
Fortunately, Mr Ronayne has said there are no items of high value in Douglas Library, and that all stock was for borrowing by local patrons meaning there are no irreplaceable books there. The Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty has given a commitment to have a replacement service as soon as is physically possible.
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,
Cork Independent, 12 September 2019
Launch of Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2019-20