By Dan Walsh
The story of Wexford Public Library Service began almost a century ago – in 1922 – when a library service was established in Riverchapel National School, near the popular seaside resort of Courtown. It was one of only four small libraries in Ireland founded as an experimental initiative under the auspices of the Carnegie Trust.
In the century that has almost passed the library service has grown and flourished to the stage where over half a million visits were made to Wexford’s five branches and two mobile libraries in 2018. Active membership of the library service is 21% of the population of Wexford – 149,722 – and the largest county in Leinster.
It is, therefore, appropriate and encouraging that Wexford County Council has a 2020-2025 Development Plan that prioritises the development of the library services over the next five years.
With reference to the Riverchapel library, County Librarian Eileen Morrissey said; “The core principles of that small community library were equity of access to information and reading and the provision of a key focal point in local communities. These principles hold true today as we launch this library development plan.”
“Wexford County Council is extremely proud to establish this Library Development Plan, which has been derived from extensive consultation with the people of County Wexford,” stated Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Ger Carthy.
Tom Enright, Chief Executive, Wexford County Council said; “Public libraries are a valuable resource for our communities. They provide free, open, and democratic public spaces for the citizens of our county. They allow people to come together for a common purpose, to connect and collaborate.”