The Kinlough Library service has to vacate its current premises at the end of the year and Cllr Justin Warnock has called for the Council to provide an alternative location for the service in the town.
Speaking at the Manorhamilton Municipal District meeting on Monday, Cathaoirleach of the MD, Cllr Justin Warnock said he was “fearful” that once the library goes “we won’t get it back”.
Director of Services Mary Quinn explained that the building currently occupied by the library is the old Vocational School which is a Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB) owned premises.
“The arrangement in place regarding the library is that an informal agreement was in place with MSLETB that facilitated the use of a small portion of the premises (for the library) with the remainder of the building occupied by the Kinlough Community Playgroup who run a pre-school and after-school service there daily,” she said.
Changes in requirements for the Community Playgroup as a result of Covid-19 restrictions and increased user numbers, mean that the Community Playgroup need additional space.
“Notice has been served by MSLETB (for the library) to vacate the building by the end of 2021,” said Ms Quinn.
“Over the years this very restricted space has resulted in the availability of extremely limited library services. It has not been possible to offer such services as class visits, events and other library programming.”
Ms Quinn acknowledged the population growth in Kinlough but said at present she could not say what the new service delivery model will be for the area.
“A very large proportion of library members living in Kinlough are registered as members in Bundoran Library which is located only 4km away. These library members use Bundoran Library for borrowing purposes and attendance at library-related events and activities,” pointed out Ms Quinn.
However, Cllr Justin Warnock said that the size of the population and the number of pupils living locally justified the provision of a library in Kinlough.
He also said that having residents travel to Bundoran to use facilities is “not a choice” for people adding “we should have a facility in Kinlough.”
Cllr Mary Bohan also backed the call. She accepted that the current building was “not fit for purpose” but asked the Council to “get plans put in place for another building in Kinlough”.
Cllr Sean McDermott and Cllr Felim Gurn also added their support to the motion.
Ms Quinn said that in the long term there “could very well be space in a community building in Kinlough with space to provide library services” but she said that Leitrim Library Service will now investigate other service delivery models including outreach services and she was unable to expand further on future plans.
She also said perhaps the need for a library space could feed into the community plan currently being completed for Kinlough. “We are not ruling anything out,” she said.
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