A staffless service and extended opening hours for members will be introduced at the Johnston Library in Cavan from early next year.
According to the Department of Rural and Community Development, the library in Cavan Town is one of 20 chosen at which the service will be introduced from early 2018, following a successful trial of the initiative in Tullamore, Banagher and Tubbercurry libraries.
Also chosen as part of the roll-out is the library in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.
The entire cost of the scheme nationally is estimated to be about €1.94 million, with the Department providing the lion’s share of the funding.
Branches were selected and funded by the Department on foot of applications from local authorities and the cost of the ‘My Open Library’ scheme in Cavan is estimated to be €85,000, €64,000 of which will come from central government coffers.
Over 100,000 visitors
Johnston Library receives 100,000 visitors per year, with 5,500 users at present, and from past Council debate it was found that usage of the service outside of hours is expected to only account for five per cent of all withdrawals.
But it’s hoped by the Council that the extra opening hours at Johnston Library would in itself provide new life to that section of town in the evenings. However there have been some concerns expressed regarding anti-social behaviour and child-protection issues also.
According to Minister Michael Ring, the learning from this phase of the roll-out will help inform and shape the future development and implementation of the service across the broader library network.
He has assured that there will be no reduction in staffing levels or staffed hours as a result of the service.
Funding permitting, the Minister has indicated that the My Open Library will be introduced in additional branches from 2019 onwards.