€1M State of the Art New Library and Arts Studios Officially Opened in Cappamore, Limerick

Media Release
Monday, April 14th 2014

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, has officially opened a state of the art new €1m Library and Art Studios complex for Cappamore –the first library in Limerick to be 100% self service.

The Minister was joined by Cathaoirleach John Sheehan and Limerick City and County Manager, Conn Murray, to launch the new Library and Arts Studios which will pilot a range of new technology initiatives, some of which have never been used in Ireland before.

The new Library and Arts studios will also support Cappamore’s designation as an age friendly town and offer a range of quality programming for vibrant senior citizens.

Highlights of the new Complex include:

  • It is the first library in Limerick to be 100% self service. All transactions, including, registrations, borrowing and returning stock, making requests, checking the catalogue, can all be performed on-line by the public, either on the premises or on-line from home.
  • It will make available to the public the ‘Solas System’ which is the first of its kind in Ireland and includes touch screen table PCs offering an exciting suite of programmes and apps for all ages.
  • The new library will also offer those in the new Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal district access to a range of Council Services by utilising cutting edge touch screen technology as a point of access.

Speaking at the launch, Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council, John Sheahan praised the positive contribution of a number of key agencies to deliver the Library leading to a €1m investment in the Limerick economy.

“In total over €700,000 in grant aid was made available from Government, Ballyhoura Developments Ltd and the Local Community Council with the balance of €300,000 being provided by the local authority from its own resources,” he said.

“The completion of this building today proves when we work together in partnership it is to the mutual benefit of all. I believe that the spirit of positive co-operation that has been achieved so much in Cappamore today will serve as a catalyst for the new Limerick Authority.”

Also speaking at the launch, Limerick City and County Council Manager, Conn Murray, said the official opening of the new €1m building is a milestone in the Council’s mission to make its frontline services more accessible to the public.

“This project is a key element in our City of Culture programme and the Library and Arts Services are our longest and best used cultural facilities,” he said.

“We have used the opening of the project to pilot a range of new initiatives and the valuable Arts Studio spaces will support artistic vibrancy in the rural community while providing vital support to artists in developing their careers. This will serve as a legacy project from the City of Culture programme in the years ahead and I would like to pay tribute to the elected members who have put the Council and the citizens of Limerick at the leading edge of progress, the fruits of their pride and vision are obvious today.”

The design of the new Library and Arts Studios placed sustainability and environmentally friendly installations at its core. The building is heated by a biomass boiler burner unit incorporating recyclable wood shavings as a fuel source and the overall building design is orientated to maximise solar heat and reduce heat loss. Extensive external cladding was fitted to the outside of the former school house to increase thermal efficiency and where possible, many existing materials were re-used.

The Architects on the project were Michael Healy & Partners and the building was constructed by Martins Construction Ltd.
After a tour of the new building, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD said Limerick was ‘leading the way’ with the amalgamation of the two library services as part of the creation of the new single Authority – Limerick City and County Council.

“I was very pleased to see on my tour of the building today, how this new library and arts facility has implemented the new National Library Policy,” he said.

“I have seen a comprehensive range of bookstock supporting jobseekers, entrepreneurs and life long learning. I have heard about a partnership between the local historical committee and the library service in making available the history of the area. I have also seen cutting edge technology, harnessed to deliver quality information services to the public.

The new suite of arts studios represents a very positive investment in arts infrastructure during our year as City of Culture. I am also pleased that this Government was able to provide Library Capital funding of €554,000 for this most deserving project. From the evidence today, it is clearly a very sound investment.”

Last update:14/04/2014