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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
my open library

7 more public libraries set to open seven days a week between 8am and 10pm

The ‘My Open Library’ service offers extended opening hours, seven days a week.

ANOTHER SEVEN LIBRARIES around the country are set to open seven days a week between 8am and 10pm next month, according to the Department of Rural and Community Development. 

five-year strategy launched last June outlined plans to have opening hours extended for 100 libraries across the country, along with new self-service facilities where the public will be able to take out and return books without staff assistance.

The strategy seeks to increase library use and grow active membership from the current level of 16% of the population to 30%.

The new ‘My Open Library’ service, launched as part of the strategy, offers extended opening hours, providing additional library access to members from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, 365 days per year. 

The service is currently open in 10 locations around the country. 

Additional libraries

The Department has confirmed to that it expects the My Open Library service to be extended to the following seven libraries from the end of April: 

  • Castlecomer, Kilkenny
  • Portarlington, Laois
  • Cappamore, Limerick
  • Ballymahon, Longford
  • Swinford, Mayo
  • Carrickmacross, Monaghan
  • Arklow, Wicklow

“Our ambition is to introduce the My Open Library service in up to 100 libraries by the end of 2022, and in a further 200 by the end of 2027,” the Department said. 

Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) documents seen by have given a breakdown of the usage of some of the My Open Library services currently open around the country. 

In Dungarvan, Co Waterford, 48% of usage is during 5pm and 8pm, with a further 27% of usage on Sundays and Mondays when the library has been traditionally closed. 

In Offaly, during Christmas 2018 there were over 780 My Open Library visits to Banagher and Tullamore libraries. 

Meanwhile, 571 users are registered as My Open Library members in Deansgrange, Dublin. There are approximately 240 users of the service per week, with Sunday being the busiest day. 

“The staffed hours, combined with the extended My Open Library hours, allow library members to access the full range of library facilities on a self-service basis at times that suit them best, particularly those who may not be able to access their library during regular staffed times,” the Department said in a statement.


The PAC document noted that staffing levels and staff hours are not impacted by the My Open Library service. 

“Experienced and committed library staff are key to the success of our public libraries and the full, staffed service continues to be provided during the regular staffed hours,” it noted. 

However, it did state that it is likely that libraries operating My Open Library may increase staffed opening hours, as is the case in Banagher library where staffed hours have increased from 14 hours to 21 hours per week. 

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