New mobile library will give wi-fi access to most other public collections

August 18th, 2017 5:40 PM

By Southern Star Team

The state-of-the-art mobile library has been built by Kilkenny-based company Cahill Truck Bodies.

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With a membership of 1,746, the West Cork Mobile Library issued nearly 37,000 items in 2016 serving 75 locations, writes Kieran O'Mahony

A STATE-of-the-art mobile library for West Cork, costing in the region of €165,800 will be launched next month while plans for a new library for Kinsale have advanced.

The mobile library, which has been built by Kilkenny-based company Cahill Truck Bodies, will replace the existing vehicle that has served customers across the region for the past 14 years.

It will be fully automated using a wireless broadband connection and readers will be able to use their cards to request books, not only from Cork County Library's own collections, but also from most other public libraries through the National Library Management System.

‘The mobile library service has long been an integral part of library service delivery in Cork County Library and it continues to play a key role in ensuring that all citizens have access to the library service, irrespective of their location or personal circumstances,' said a Council spokesperson. ‘As a Glengarriff borrower said recently in a written submission, the rural areas would be bereft without the library.' 

A mobile library card will also give readers access online to e-books, e-magazines, language learning courses, newspaper databases and a wide range of further education courses. 

In addition, internet access will be available on board via a public use iPad, which staff will be happy to demonstrate and assist with.'

In order to generate advance awareness of the new mobile library and to stimulate community engagement with the project, a competition was held earlier in the year to design a wraparound for the vehicle. 

‘A total of 458 entries were received and included many from primary and secondary schools. A selection of the best images will be incorporated into the design, enhancing the sense of public ownership of the service and constituting a visual representation of the core role of the mobile library, which is a community-based service inspired by the community it serves.'

With a membership of 1,746 the West Cork Mobile Library issued nearly 37,00 items in 2016 and serves a total of 75 stops over a two week schedule. 

This schedule varies from time to time as the different stops are reviewed and full details on the schedule and an interactive route map are accessible at 

For readers interested in book clubs, the mobile library book club meets in Rosscarbery once a month to discuss the most recent shared reads.

At a recent County Council meeting, a management report by Cork County Library outlined that plans to develop a state-of-the-art library and community facility at the Old Mill in Kinsale have moved forward with a submission for funding being sent to the Department for funding. 

Councillors were also told that the exterior of Bantry Library was painted in June, which will be followed by the updating of signage later in the year. Issues of books from March 1st to June 16th showed that Clonakilty had 19,102, followed by Skibbereen with 16,991. 

Bandon was next with 13,462, followed by Macroom with 12,975, Dunmanway with 12,080, Kinsale  with 4,180, Castletownbere with 2,831 and Schull with 2,410. 

The report also showed that the islands were well represented with 324 issues of books for Sherkin Island and 636 issues for members on Cape Clear.

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