BANDON’S new state-of-the-art library, which is five times the size of the old facility, plans to offer free computer coding classes for kids, as well as Lego robotics workshops.
County mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan officially opened the facility this week and described it as an ‘incredible, inclusive space.’
Located on the ground floor of the new primary care centre on Market Place, the library boasts over 30,000 books.
‘But it’s also filled with more technology, so technology and reading can go hand-in-hand in the library,’ said Cllr Coughlan.
‘There has been huge interest in the two 3D printers that have been installed and Bandon library has ambitious plans to provide free computer coding classes for children, as well as Lego robotics workshops. Here we see science, technology and reading all coming together.’
The library has been specially equipped with customised furniture and has dedicated areas for younger children, teens and young adults as well as a ‘sensory nook’ for people with autism.
The €250,000 fit-out includes a multifunction meeting room with digital conferencing equipment.
There is also free access to high-speed internet and wi-fi is available.
The library plans to host up to 500 events a year which will include lectures, workshops and concerts, while a community exhibition space will allow artists to exhibit their works in a professional galley environment.
With seven staff, it will also become the first library in West Cork to become a member of ‘My Open Library’ which means that from May, it will be open on a self-service basis from 8am to 10pm, 365 days of the year.
It will allow members to borrow or drop off books outside of normal working hours.
It serves 17 primary and four secondary schools in the region.
Regular class visits will be facilitated, as well as arts and literature events for students and teachers.
‘It’s an incredibly inclusive space with quiet pods and nooks,’ added Cllr Coughlan.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said inclusivity is one of the cornerstones on the library’s ethos, which is why the facility is both autism and age-friendly.
Cllr Coughlan also noted that Bandon native, the TV presenter and best-selling author Graham Norton, also has connections to his local library because his sister Paula Walker is a member of the dedicated staff.