Limerick City Library reopening after long hiatus

Limerick City Library

Limerick City Library is set to reopen tomorrow morning, Wednesday November 10, after being closed to the public for the last 19 months, at Barrow House on Michael Street.

The city library was initially closed in March 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The landmark development of the Opera Site which was due to begin in the second half of 2020 saw the library move from its old premises in the Granary building.

Cllr Daniel Butler, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick welcomed the reopening of the city branch of the library.

He said:

“It is great to see the city library in a brand-new home in such a vibrant and central location while we wait for the completion of a new central library for Limerick.

“I think this will prove to be a very inclusive and popular library for all and I am delighted to hear that it’s open.”

New library still under construction

The new site of the library was formerly Instore Furniture at the junction of Michael and Ellen Street.

It will be a temporary home for the City Library while the flagship Central Library for Limerick is under construction as part of the Opera Site development.

Senior Executive Librarian Brenda Frawley is excited to open back up to the public tomorrow morning.

She said:

“We’ve been closed quite a long time and we’ve really missed meeting people, meeting customers and doing our day to day

“Myself and some of my colleagues here have been really involved in the whole move process and dealing with builders and contractors which is not really our skillset to a degree!

“I’m personally delighted that from tomorrow I can talk to people about books and not walls and stairs! We’ll be back to what we do best.”

Ms. Frawley and her colleagues have been hard at work getting the new site ready since learning from the Council in May that Barrow House would be their new home.

She said, “When you’re moving into a pre-existing building that isn’t designed to hold a library you have to make it fit you. You have to adapt it to you.

“We had a lot of work to get the place to where it should be that we could open the door and let people in safely and have everything as it should be.”

Covid-19 library restrictions

Due to the current restrictions there will be no school visits, but teachers and a small number of students can visit the library in pods of 6, according to Ms. Frawley.

The library will be open from Monday to Saturday from 10am-5pm and until 8pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

It will be two stories with free Wi-Fi, Public Access PCs and printing/scanning facilities available to the public and membership is completely free.

The first floor includes a dedicated children’s library, activities room and a superb music library for all the non-streamers.

Ms. Frawley’s first recommendation to the public ahead of the reopening of the city branch are the novels of American author Laura Lippman.

She said, “This is one of the great benefits of the library. You find an author you love and chances are they have other books and your library will have them or can get them for you in a couple of days.”

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