June marked the official reopening of Dungannon Library following a considerable refurbishment of the library building, at a total cost of £580,000.
To mark the official reopening, a celebration was held in the library and was attended by an array of dignitaries, including special guest, DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, who performed the official reopening of the library, as well as the newly elected Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, Councillor Phelim Gildernew, Nigel Macartney, Chairperson and Irene Knox, Chief Executive of Libraries NI.
To celebrate the occasion a special programme of events was held in the library from 11.00am to 5.00pm, highlighting the important role of the library as a focal point in the community and demonstrating the range of services provided to support learning, culture, heritage and information.
The day started with a Rhythm & Rhyme session (stories, songs and rhymes) for pre-school children. There were Virtual / Online Library demonstrations and GOT IT (internet and email) sessions and staff were on hand to show visitors how to browse the heritage website Ancestry.
An Irish Dancing Exhibition was held on the third floor, while the Ulster-Scots Storyteller Ian Coalter entertained the audience with his tales. The day concluded with a Storytelling session for the library’s ethnic minority users and information was available from the Health In Mind
team who offered advice and tips about how to improve your health and wellbeing. Visitors were also able to view paintings from the Beacon Centre and a model of the proposed artwork for Market Square.
As guests arrived for the opening, they were able to admire the improved interior of the library, with a music ensemble providing background music, while an Irish language Storytime was held for the pupils of Gaelscoil Aodha Rua.
The visitors were most impressed by the high standard of refurbishment work undertaken, which includes a new customer services area and attractive dedicated areas for adults and children, making the library a welcoming space for all. The finished library is calm, airy, and spacious with beautiful new furnishings, offering study and quiet areas, to sit and relax while reading a book or a magazine and refreshments are also available to make a visit to the library complete.
Nigel Macartney, Libraries NI Chairperson welcomed guests to the library and invited Minister Carál Ní Chuilín to officially reopen the library, adding: “Since reopening to the public on 5th April, the use of Dungannon Library has already doubled in comparison to the same time last year and the feedback we have received has been most positive.
“Libraries NI has demonstrated a commitment to making libraries the centre of their local communities and Dungannon Library is a prime example of the excellent investment being made in the public library service. This enhanced and attractive library provides a much needed service to people living in the Dungannon area and I would encourage everyone to become active members of the library and avail of the many free services on offer.”
Speaking at the official re-opening where she also unveiled a plaque marking the occasion, the Libraries Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “This investment delivers a modern library that will meet the needs of everyone in the community. From the bespoke heritage section which will be of interest to local historians and researchers, to the hi-tech IT suite to the specially designed areas for children. The ‘chill-out’ area for teenagers and new coffee lounge with great views of the Square means Dungannon Library truly has something for everyone.”
The newly elected Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, Councillor Phelim Gildernew, then spoke of the valuable contribution which libraries make to local community life and of the importance of Dungannon Library in the Borough.
Other guests at this event included the architects, contractor, as well as Libraries NI Board members, other Council representatives and Libraries NI staff.
The Official Reopening event drew to its conclusion with Irene Knox, Libraries NI Chief Executive, thanking everyone involved in the library’s refurbishment project, which has resulted in a first-class modern library for Dungannon.
To become a library member and make use of the many free membership benefits, bring along a means of identification (which includes a home address).
For more information, contact Dungannon Library (36 Market Square, BT70 1JD) on telephone number: 028 8772 2952 or email: email@example.com