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On arrival HRH was greeted by Libraries NI Chief Executive Jim O’Hagan and the Chairperson of the Libraries NI Board Professor Bernard Cullen. The Princess Royal was taken on a tour of the renovated facilities including a new three storey fully accessible extension, a multi-use meeting room, improved study areas, exhibition space and a dedicated Heritage Room with microfilm readers.
After an extensive £2.3million renovation project, funded by the Department for Communities, the new look Coleraine Library reopened to the public on Thursday 20 December 2018. The library has been serving the community of Coleraine for fifty years.
The renovation project included improved access through the creation of a new entrance lobby to the library and the installation of a passenger lift to all floors. Library members, schools and community groups have already been making full use of the new facilities the library has to offer. The refurbished facility has also seen an increase in the number of members of the public taking the opportunity to become library members.
During the tour, HRH met and chatted with local primary school children taking part in a Storytime session, contractors involved in delivering the project, ladies from the Knit and Natter group, Libraries NI staff members and local history researchers in the Heritage Room.
“Libraries NI is delighted to officially reopen the doors of Coleraine Library following the extensive refurbishment. The library’s original features have been maintained while modern décor has been sympathetically incorporated into the design offering a bright, welcoming space throughout. With the wide range of stock and services of a modern library service, Coleraine Library is the perfect example of the kind of buildings and facilities Libraries NI is aiming to provide. I would like to welcome everyone to call in and see the improvements, to find out about the services available and to register to become a library member.”
Department for Communities Deputy Secretary Moira Doherty said;
“These newly redeveloped, much larger premises reflect the changing nature of libraries in our society. They are modern, educational, social and creative centres, offering welcoming facilities which are open to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. In marginalised communities in particular, libraries play a key role in helping to tackle poverty and social exclusion. I want to therefore reinforce the valuable contribution that libraries make in many areas of people’s lives. Libraries whether small or large can be a catalyst for positive social and societal change.”
[L-R] Libraries NI staff including Mark Waterworth, Senior IT Support Officer, Mandy Bryson, Assistant Director, Adrienne Adair, Assistant Director, Desi Miskelly, Director of Business Support, HRH The Princess Royal and Jim O'Hagan, Chief Executive.