Michael Ring, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, has this week announced the roll-out of the My Open Library service to Belmullet Library. My Open Library allows access to public libraries on a self-service basis from 8 am to 10 pm, 365 days a year.
The service offers extended opening hours to library members including: (1 ) Opening hours of 8 am to 10 pm, 365 days per year; (2 ) Automated access to the branch for library members via membership card and pin code during unstaffed hours; (3 ) Provision of self-service activities including, but not limited to:iissue and return of books and other library stock, internet access on PCs, use of wi-fi, printing and photocopying study/reading spaces
Minister Ring said: "The My Open Library service has been an amazing success. It is an exciting development and is transforming our libraries. I am delighted to allow for €50,000 to be provided to allow the roll out of the service in Belmullet Library.
"The My Open Library service extends the availability of library services to customers at times that suit them best, providing greater flexibility and convenience through increased opening hours in addition to the invaluable staffed hours.”
"My Open Library is one of a number of initiatives I have introduced to increase usage of our libraries which are a fantastic and free community resource. I have also abolished library fines in an effort to remove any barriers to people using the library service.”
Fine Gael Councillor for Belmullet, Gerry Coyle said: “I commend Minister Ring for ensuring the My Open Library service for Belmullet. It will facilitate increased access for local students to study from early in the morning to late at night; families with working parents; commuters; people up-skilling; and community groups to use the library facilities.”
The service is available to library members aged 16 years and over (under 18 years with parental consent ). It is expected to be operational in Belmullet Library by late 2020/early 2021. In addition to this, Swinford Library is due to launch the My Open Library service in the coming weeks and Ballina Library is expected to follow suit by early 2021.
The popularity of the My Open Library service is evident from statistics for last August Bank Holiday weekend when more than 1,334 people visited 15 My Open Library branches. These branches would traditionally have been closed for the bank holiday weekend i.e. Saturday to Monday inclusive.