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Foxford’s new library lets in the light

Foxford’s new library lets in the light

Trevor Quinn

Foxford’s beautiful new, modern library marks a new era for the area’s bookworms, research hounds and children, believes enthusiastic librarian and local resident Cathy Joyce.
Describing the old library building as ‘claustrophobic’, Cathy said the new state-of-the-art building, located up the road on the corner of Lower Main Street, is attracting a much broader spectrum of people. “It’s warm and it’s comfortable, and the lighting is very good,” she said.
“We have a lot of new members who wouldn’t have used the old library, and they enjoy the openness and the choice that is now on offer. We have so many windows here. That was one thing that struck people when they came in here, how bright it is.”
Cathy also loves that the library is no longer tucked away. The old building, which was beside Hope House, was not as visible to the public. It was also much smaller.  
The impressively large and airy new library has an extensive stock of over 10,000 books, as well as a huge selection of children’s books, a computer learning area, a reference library and a local history section. There is also a research and homework area, as well as an area for workshops and story hours.
If history is not your thing, or you are not besotted by books, the library also has a great selection of DVDs and music CDs.
Internet access is also available. Speaking about the benefit of the computers Cathy said, “We would have liked to have had them before but we didn’t have the room. We didn’t have a photocopier either.” A nearby customer who overheard our conversation made a gesture with her hands indicating the size of a large shopping basket. “The room down below was only this big!” she laughed.
The opening last Friday week on January 27 was very much a family community day according to Cathy with groups of all ages attending to view the new facility. A number of classes visited from the national school, and both pupils and teachers were suitably impressed.
“The children were really enthralled by the new facility,” Cathy said. “They love it because they have room to sit down and to flick through the various books. We also have a lot of new kids’ DVD releases, which they seem to love.”
With the nation feeling the recession’s squeeze, joining a library makes financial sense. It costs just €3 a year to become an adult member (€1 a year if you are not working or are a senior citizen), while children are free up to Leaving Cert year. Members can take up to eight items, including books and DVDs, for three-weeks.
Adding to the value is the fact that members can use their membership card in any public library in the county. “If you come in to the library here and you borrowed three books from me, and you were then in Castlebar someday and saw a book you liked there, you could use the same card to borrow a book from there too, which is really convenient.”

Foxford Library is open Tuesdays, 2pm - 5pm; Wednesdays, 3pm - 8pm; Friday, 12 noon - 5pm; and Saturday, 12 noon - 5pm.