Dalkey Library in Castle Street, Dalkey was officially relaunched on Thursday 27 th September 2012 by the Leas-Chathaoirleach Cllr. Stephen Fitzpatrick. The library was refurbished over the summer months and the occasion was an opportunity to welcome the community back to this popular library. A new garden has been developed and landscaped outside the rear of the library and the launch marked the dedication of this new garden to the memory of one of Dalkey’s and indeed Ireland’s most highly esteemed and best loved citizens, author Maeve Binchy.
Dalkey Library holds a special place in the life of this elegant coastal town. In 2002, Dalkey celebrated the centenary of the oldest Carnegie Library in Ireland which opened its doors a stone’s throw from the current library in 1902. The distinctive gable façade of the old Dalkey library building can still be seen today and this building now houses Supervalu’s fruit and veg shop and other offices. The present Library opened on 19 th April 1989, a time when all services were still manual rather than computerized. Today the library boasts two new self-service machines, online renewals and the 24/7 access to so many services such as downloadable audio and e-books that today’s customers automatically expect. Dalkey Library staff are delighted to welcome back the many groups and individuals that use Dalkey Library, the bookclub and the club leabhar, the writers’ group, the crotchet club, the parent and toddler group and the children who come to the storytelling session, the students who do their homework and uniquely amongst DLR libraries, the musicians who practise the piano, harp or guitar in the music room – everyone is welcome and Dalkey Library staff hope that many more will join Dalkey Library in the coming weeks and months.
Since the refurbishment, the library interior has been transformed into a brighter more spacious environment – the mezzanine staircase has been dramatically enhanced, lighting and ventilation systems have been upgraded, a public toilet has been installed and the garden space, previously unnoticed by many, has been reclaimed as a public space. By dedicating the library to the memory of Maeve Binchy, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Libraries want to honour not only her outstanding literary legacy but her wonderful personality by providing a soothing oasis in the heart of the town she loved so much where local people can relax, read, chat to friends and join in future events and author readings.