Fears expressed by Councillor John Hogan about the future of the library service in the county following the disbanding of the Tipperary Joint Library Committee have been allayed at a meeting of North Tipperary County Council.
The Fianna Fail councillor raised the issue as part of a discussion on the amalgamation process and said that he was very concerned that an allocation of just 60K Euro for books had been granted in 2012 - 59K had been spent on Christmas lighting in Thurles in the same year, he said.
“We spent many years building up the library service to what it is - a top class service and I just feel that we should be putting more resources into the book stock. I am concerned that this is not going to happen in the future,” Cllr Hogan said.
However, Director of Services Mr Matt Shortt reassurred Cllr Hogan that the library service will remain strong and vibrant and his comments were backed by County Manager Mr Joe MacGrath, who is set to take up the reigns as Chief Executive Officer of the new Tipperary County Council.
“The book fund for the library service has been substantially increased in 2014 and let there be no concern whatsoever about the future of the library service in Tipperary. The service has been handled magnificently by the librarian and staff and they have handed over a very robust service to the County Council. There were some very difficult years in the past, but the service is in a very healthy state at the present time,” Mr MacGrath said.
Mr Shortt confirmed that new administrative centre for the Thurles area will be in Castle Avenue at the current County Library building. The building, which he referred to as being ‘ quite substantial’ will be refurbished and there will be parking for around 100 vehicles provided. A special custom built facility will be constructed to house book stocks. At present the Thurles Town Council offices are inadequate and would not be capable of dealing with the demands on it after the amalgamation process has been completed.
Cllr Eddie Moran praised the library service as being top class and said that the facilitie sprovided are very much up to date in each unit.