Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for a new library plan for the expanded City library service which will coincide with Cork City’s boundary extension. The passing of the boundary extension will have significant implications for the City Library Service. A population increase will also bring an increase in the number of library buildings, and an increase in the number of schools using the library service.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “more and more libraries are playing a central role in hosting community events and maintaining links with local schools and their reading programmes. The libraries of today differ from libraries of yesteryear. With the expansion into the county, it is imperative that library community programmes and strategies are not diluted but expanded. There is a need to bring staffing levels up to normal levels – so basic aspects such as marketing programmes can be fufilled. Through retirements, there have also been too many unfilled posts over the past few years. These need to be filled”.
“I would like to see a focus on more educational programmes – more linkages between local libraries and local schools. I would also like to see more work being pursued on sharing ideas on community programmes between other libraries in Ireland and especially abroad. There is much that Cork can learn as well from other library programmes across the EU. In addition, the need to build a new City Library and a new library in Blackrock and Mahon remains on my lobbying list”.
Cllr McCarthy has welcomed the decision by Paul Moynihan, Director of Services, to engage with the Department of Rural and Community Development to pursue all options for further investment in, and enhancement of service. In recent years the City Council has benefitted from investment under a number of initiatives such as Healthy Ireland, Work Matters, the Digitalisation programme, Creative Ireland. The investment has resulted in improved services and has increased the value of library facilities to the communities they serve. The further enhancement of library services across the extended city should remain a priority for the City Council.