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Newry City Library Celebrates its New Look

May 29, 2012

Wednesday 23rd May marked the official opening of Newry City Library (Hill Street) which reopened last year, after a refurbishment programme which lasted four months and cost £318,000.

The refurbishment has allowed for increased space across three floors with a new community meeting room, exhibition space as well as access to a wider range of books, DVDs and newspapers.

To mark the official opening, a celebration was held in the library and was attended by an array of high profile dignitaries, including special guest, DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, who performed the official opening of the library, Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillor Charlie Casey, Nigel Macartney, Chairperson and Irene Knox, Chief Executive, of Libraries NI.

Children from the Bunscoil performed Irish dancing and music, and the U3A Gentlemen Singers (the Feis 2012 winners) sang a melody of songs, while Minister Ní Chuilín and other special guests arrived.

Speaking at the official ceremony, Minister Ni Chuilin outlined her vision for the future of library services. She said: “A modern library must meet the needs of the 21st century and should offer a flexible and responsive service. It should provide a vibrant, dynamic focal point in the community, but most importantly, it must assist and encourage people in fulfilling their potential. I am proud to say that Newry Library fits this bill.

“This investment of £320,000 is an endorsement of our public library service and enables the vision for a modern library service to be delivered for all people in this community.

“This impressive and much needed refurbishment has revitalised this library and will enable Libraries NI staff to provide a hub for reading, culture, heritage, information and learning in the Newry area.”

Nigel Macartney, Chairperson, Libraries NI welcomed guests to the library and invited Minister Carál Ní Chuilín to officially open the library, adding:

“Libraries NI is committed to providing first class library services, as demonstrated by the refurbishment programme undertaken here in Newry City Library, which has resulted in this impressive modern library. This refurbishment demonstrates a commitment to making libraries the centre of local communities and I would like to encourage everyone to become active members of the library and avail of the many services available.

“We are delighted that in Newry City Library, since the library reopened after the refurbishment, our issues have increased by 10% and we now have 7,170 active borrowers.”

The Chairperson also extended a warm welcome to The Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillor Charlie Casey, who not only is a member of Newry City Library, but is also a member of the Board of Libraries NI.

The Mayor continued by expressing the appreciation of Newry residents for the presence of a well-used library in its centre for the last 25 years.

“As one of my final engagements as Mayor of Newry & Mourne, I am delighted to welcome the Minister here and to witness the fantastic new premises for our city’s library. This will be a brilliant facility for the city into the future and it is no less than what our citizens deserve.

“I hope that all those who work, study or relax in Newry Library will be very happy in their new surroundings.”

Sinn Féin welcomes opening of Newry Library

Local Sinn Féin MP, Conor Murphy, also attended the official opening of the revamped Library.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Murphy said, “I am delighted to be here to see the result of all of the refurbishment which has taken place. Newry library has been one of the city’s most widely used resources for many many years by students and researchers alike.

“My party colleague Minister Carál Ní Chuilín and her department have invested £320,000 into this redevelopment and you can tell from looking at the wonderful facilities on offer here that that funding has been wisely used.”

Adrienne Adair, Business Manager with Libraries NI, said:

“I am delighted that this library is now providing a much needed and improved service to people in the Newry area and to celebrate the official reopening, a special long-weekend programme of events is being held until Saturday 26th May. These events will showcase the range of services provided in libraries to support learning, culture, heritage and information. There is something for everyone to enjoy in these celebrations and I would urge everyone to come along and sample a little of what we have to offer!”

Newry City Library’s opening hours (from 6th June) are: Monday and Tuesday from 9.00am – 8.00pm; Wednesday from 9.00am – 5.00pm; Thursday from 9.00am – 9.00pm; Friday from 9.00am – 5.00pm and Saturday from 10.00am – 5.00pm.

The library holds a range of free regular activities – so ask today for details of these and other services available. Contact Newry City Library (79 Hill Street, BT34 1DG), on telephone: 028 3026 4683, email: newry.library@librariesni.org.uk or go to www.librariesni.org.uk

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