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  • Northside East

Library begins a new chapter 

Friday, 17th January, 2020 7:59am
Library begins a new chapter 

Coolock Library has had an impressive makeover.

Library begins a new chapter 

Coolock Library has had an impressive makeover.

Jennifer Keegan

A NORTHSIDE library has reopened to the public after a major refubishment. 

Coolock Library, which is located behind Northside Shopping Centre, reopened on January 2 after being closed for almost a year during the build. 

The decision for the library to have a €3.5 million refurbishment was due to the condition of the old building, which had remained the same for the past 40 years, in which time it had become an important asset to the community. 

The 600sq metre space has been remodelled into a bright modern space for both its adult and children’s sections. 

The building, though still the same size as before, has been rebuilt to accommodate up to 80 people across four meeting rooms, three of which can be opened into one larger event room. This allows for several groups to meet at any one time.

Coolock Library has a footfall of between 500 and 700 people a day, but it wants to encourage even more usage by locals.  

Noreen Herlihy, Coolock Librarian, said the library “is very well used by the community, so Coolock deserves the new updated library…and now we can accommodate a lot more groups and that will bring in more people”. 

The library is also more sustainable than previously with photovoltaic panels and heat pump energy, allowing it to generate its own electricity and power for heating, cutting down carbon emissions.

The new building also boasts a ‘Makerspace’, a room dedicated to encouraging creativity. It includes a laser cutter, 3D printer, sewing machines, a green screen for animation, Lego and Arduino and Raspberry Pi for learning computer science. 

Ms Herlihy said: ”The idea is to basically have a creative space for people, and we will have people in to show how to use it all for whoever is interested.” 

A modern change is that there are now laptops available for using in the library. 

They can be used for up to four hours in one sitting. This service is free and can be accessed with a Dublin City Library card. 

This is to encourage the usage of the many independent study spaces around the library which are well lit and also offer plugs for charging devices. On top of that, there are also PC spaces for use by the public. 

With added public bathrooms and baby changing facilities, the new library aims to be accessible to all.  

The children’s section was rebuilt with a ‘Reading Tree’ in the centre: a comfortable space for parents and children to relax and play.

Senior Librarian Noel McMahon said: “It’s a really workable space, all the shelves are on wheels and all the furniture can be moved back so it’s a flexible space. You can make it what you want it to be.” 

New parking spaces have been added outside the library as well as fresh tarmac and signage. 

The new building was designed by Mahony Architecture in association with Dublin City Council and was built by Dunwoody and Dobsen.

While the building had been under construction, the books and staff had been moved into a much smaller site in Northside Shopping Centre.

Dublin City Librarian, Mairéad Owens, said that the new Coolock library has been renovated to a very high standard.

“We encourage the community to avail of this fabulous community resource,” said Ms Owens.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here