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Minister Dick Roche Launches New Library Projects in Clare

4th February 2005
Address by Deputy Mayor of Clare, Councillor Pat Daly
at the launch of new Library projects in Clare on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of Clare County Council's First Library Development Programme

Welcome to the county and to my hometown. This Library has played a major role in the cultural life of the town and county for the past 30 years. I am reliably informed that since the day its doors were opened to the public 4.5 million people have passed through the doors and over four million books were issued. A great return on an investment of £125,000.

The initiative of your department in relation to free internet access has resulted in 200,000 hours of internet access in this library over the past 4 years and indeed half a million hours booked throughout our 17 service points. This must be one of the greatest “social inclusion” initiatives ever undertaken.

We are proud of our cultural services and can boast of many firsts.

First Irish Public Library online catalogue.
First Irish Public Library online Community Information Service.
First Irish Local Authority museum website.
First Local Authority Arts Officer.
First Irish Public Library Literature Promotion on the web.
First Irish Public Library to offer online publications.
First Virtual Public Branch Library in Ireland (Cranny).
First Irish Public Library to offer online reservations.

The capital finance your department has invested in the library service in county Clare has fallen on fertile soil and we have 500,000 visits to our libraries every year for a variety of purposes – to borrow a book, to find information, to read a newspaper, look at an exhibition, enjoy a lecture etc. etc.

I am delighted that you have taken the time from your busy schedule to honour us with your presence and to join with us to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the completion of the First Library Development Programme. This resulted in purpose built libraries in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Shannon. I know that the County Librarian has several other projects lined up for you to launch.

Again it is my pleasant duty, on behalf of the people of Clare, to welcome you and thank you for giving us your time.

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