Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Declan Hurley launched the West Cork Mobile Library from his home in Dunmanway last week.
The new mobile library replaces a fourteen year old vehicle which served almost every locality in rural West Cork and ensures the continuity of this valuable, socially inclusive service which spans from the Beara peninsula in the west to the iconic Galley Head on the east.
Welcoming the new mobile library Mayor Hurley acknowledged the importance of the service, “The West Cork Mobile Library ensures everybody, irrespective of location or personal circumstances, has access to our library services.
This is a vital community service and plays a key role in the early development of literacy skills while continuing to provide access to literature and information into adulthood, all the while connecting our communities through readership.”
The new vehicle is instantly recognizable with a wrap showing images resulting from a competition that drew almost 500 entries from primary and secondary schools. The impressive graphic reflects the sense of public ownership of the service and is a visual representation of the core role of the mobile library – a community-based service inspired by the community it serves.
The new library is fully automated using a wireless broadband connection while readers will be able to use their cards to request books not only from Cork County Library’s own collections but also from most other public libraries in the country, thanks to the National Library Management System.
A mobile library card will also give readers access online to e-books, e-magazines, language learning courses, newspaper databases and a wide range of further education courses. In addition, internet access will be available on board via a public use iPad, which staff will happily demonstrate and/or assist with.
The West Cork Mobile library issued nearly 37,000 items in 2016 and has a membership of 1,746.
It serves a total of 75 stops over a two-week schedule. The schedule varies from time to time as stops are reviewed. Groups that are, and will continue to be dependent on the mobile library service, include those that are geographically isolated, children in rural schools, older members of the community, people with disabilities, the housebound and nursing home residents.
Full details of the schedule and an interactive route map are accessible at www.corkcoco.ie/library.