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Shannon goes On-line with new IT facility

Clare Champion, Friday, 6th July 2001

The official opening of the Community Access Centre at Shannon Library
At the official opening of the
Community Access Centre at
Shannon Library were Minister
Síle de Valera, Seamus
or Eircom and
Shannon Town Commissioners,
Geraldine Lambert.
Ennis may be the official Information Age Town in Clare but Shannon isn't lagging too far behind. Last Friday night, thanks to an innovative partnership between the Clare Library Service and Shannon Town Commissioners, Minister Síle de Valera unveiled a new Community Access Centre which is located in the local Sean Lemass Library. The development of the Community Access Centre had its being in Shannon's participation in Eircom's Information Age Town competition. A grant of £10,000 was awarded and Town Commissioners, Chairperson Geraldine Lambert and Patricia McCarthy met with Executive Librarian, Anthony Edwards, and County Librarian, Noel Crowley to agree a strategy for development.

The Commissioners had identified Sean Lemass Library as the ideal location for this additional facility for the town. Work began on sourcing and installing the equipment and it coincided with The Clare Library Service securing funding for the installation of internet access PCs. The library was seen as an ideal location as it was already home to the Shannon Language Centre where audio, visual and print resources for learning a wide variety of modern languages are available. This presented the committee with the opportunity to enhance the IT service by providing a bank of computers with relevant packages for use by community groups and other individuals. It is very much a lifelong learning project with self-help tutorial packages available and this is in-keeping with the library's policy of empowering people to help themselves.

Consequently, those who wish to improve their keyboard skills, or who wish to type letters, design posters, personalise a card, draft reports, agendas, thesis or their very own novel may now do so. Access to the new facility is available to current members of Clare County Library by simply registering at the library desk and presenting a valid library card. The service is free and each session may last an hour. Work may be downloaded to floppy disk and/or printed.

The Sean Lemass Library, opened in 1983, is wheelchair friendly, has a 35,000 bookstock, recently extended opening hours to 45 hous per week including Saturday. The library provides an online public access catalogue (OPAC) giving the public full access to its bookstock collection. Its catalogue, community information service and local history operate over the internet. The public has full access to resources from their own home and the website address is

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