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Library Services Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 29 November 2016

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Ceisteanna (257)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

257. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government further to Question No. 163 of 17 November 2016, the way in which the customer demand was measured; if it was gathered anecdotally with library staff working in branches or through management teams working in offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36861/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Demand for extended public library opening hours was identified through a formal consultation process carried out by my Department in the development of Opportunities for All, the national public library strategy 2013-2017. This demand had been previously highlighted by public library user surveys carried out in 2002 and 2007.

The ‘My Open Library’ initiative has been identified as an innovative approach to meeting the demand for additional opening hours. In this regard, it allows library members the freedom and flexibility to use the library at times that suit them. It provides additional opening hours from 8am to 10pm, seven days per week, ensuring access to library services for users who cannot avail of them during regular staffed hours.

The initial ‘My Open Library’ pilot was introduced in Tullamore, Banagher and Tubbercurry libraries from November 2014. The pilots were established to examine the feasibility of the open library model for Ireland. I am satisfied that the learning from the original pilots, and the very positive feedback from library users, justifies extending the pilot phase to a further 23 library branches from January 2017. The extended pilot phase will inform and shape the future development and implementation of the service across the broader library network.

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