Wednesday 20th June marked the official reopening of Ormeau Road Library following a considerable refurbishment of the library building, at a total cost of £270,000, which resulted in an impressive and more user-friendly library.
To mark the official reopening, a celebration in the library was attended by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson, and special guest speaker author Glenn Patterson. They were greeted by the Nigel Macartney, Chairperson and Irene Knox, Chief Executive of Libraries NI.
On arrival, guests enjoyed music provided by Ceoil McPeake, with musicians Sean O'Kane, Mairead Forde and Martin Bushe.
The visitors were most impressed by the high standard of refurbishment work undertaken to improve the accessibility and layout of the library, offering a new customer services area and attractive dedicated areas for adults and children, making the library a welcoming space for all.
Nigel Macartney, Libraries NI Chairperson welcomed guests to the library adding:
“The first public library for the Ormeau Road was officially opened on 23rd March 1959 and over the years it has been well used by the people of the area. We are pleased to have been able to invest in the library to ensure that it can continue to provide high quality services and we are grateful to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for the funding that was made available. The people of the Ormeau Road have a library that they can continue to be proud of, following this considerable refurbishment project.
“Since reopening to the public in April, the library has hosted a programme of events, including a talk on 1800s Belfast by director of Belfast Fashion-Week Cathy Martin, as part of the One City, One Book 2012 programme, as well as a talk by author Malachi O'Doherty on his latest book, On My Own Two Wheels, to mark the Belfast Book Festival.
“This investment in Ormeau Road Library demonstrates Libraries NI’s commitment to providing local communities with modern libraries, capable of delivering a range of services to support learning, culture, heritage and information and we know that people continue to recognise the important role this library has to play as a focal point in the community.”
The Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council, Alderman Gavin Robinson, added:
“Ormeau Road Library provides a much needed service to people living in the area, offering modern facilities and has a welcoming atmosphere. This is a great facility and I would encourage the people of the Ormeau Road to support it by becoming active members of the library and enjoying the vast range of services and events available.”
The Chairperson then invited author Glenn Patterson, to unveil a plaque to mark the official reopening. Glenn’s latest novel ‘The Mill for Grinding Old People Young’ has been selected as Belfast’s first ‘One City One Book’ read, which has been designed to encourage as many people as possible to read and discuss the same novel - and Libraries NI has been keen to support this project by hosting a range of free events in its Belfast libraries.
Pupils from Scoil an Droichid recited a poem “Éist Linn” which had been written by the pupils themselves and this was followed by a poetry recital by pupils from Botanic Primary School.
Other guests at this event included the architects, contractor, as well as Libraries NI Board members, other Council and public 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. She expressed her hope that people would call in to see the exciting improvements made to the library and become members of this first-class library facility.
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).
Ormeau Road Library now offers extended opening hours, opening 48 hours per week: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9.30am - 5.30pm, Thursday from 9.30am - 8.00pm, Friday from 9.30am - 5.00pm and Saturday from 10.00am - 4.00pm.
For more information, contact the library on telephone number: 028 9050 9228 or email: email@example.com