Mayo County Library launches draft development plan

The members of the cultural, education, and heritage SPC of Mayo County Council gave the go ahead this week for the Draft Development Plan for Mayo County Library to go to public consultation.

Mayo county librarian Austin Vaughan gave the committee a presentation on the plan which he concluded with the mission statement of the plan: “To make Mayo’s libraries the best in Ireland”. The new development plan will run for three years from 2011 until 2014 provided it gets approved by the full council after its public consultation period. The plan outlines seven key objectives for the libraries in Mayo for the next three years. They are to encourage and promote reading and books; to make the library accessible to all; to foster lifelong learning and access to local and global information; to be a centre for culture and imagination; to market and promote the library service to maximise its potential; to collect, preserve, and make accessible the written, photographic, musical, and oral culture of Co Mayo; and to manage and develop the Library service as a learning organisation.

Mr Vaughan told the meeting that, while the plan is ambitious, especially in the current economic climate, it was one that he is committed to so that the libraries can provide the best service they can to the county.

Mr Vaughan was complemented on his presentation and the plan by the members of the committee. “Austin and his staff have done a tremendous amount of work in promoting the libraries and they deserve great credit for that,” said Cllr Al McDonnell. “They have made the library not just a place where you come to get books, but where people can meet and as a venue for cultural and artistic events.”

Cllr Cyril Burke, in welcoming the plan, said that the libraries are a great service to everybody from the very young to the very old and they provide a huge service to the whole community. He also said that maybe the council should look at trying to expand the service to areas that currently don’t have a library, by getting involved with local community councils to see would they like to get involved in some kind of link up in those communities.

“I wish to thank all the members of Mayo County Council who, when it came to budget time, fought to maintain as much funding as possible for the library service in tough economic times where it could have been easy to cut there,” director of services for Mayo County Council Joe Loftus told the meeting. “But the libraries provide a massive social service along with lending books throughout the county and we have to remember that also.”

The draft library plan will be published on the library’s website www.mayolibrary.ie and submissions from the public are welcome.

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