Libraries almost back to normal after Covid

By the end of quarter two, “a much more normal feel was returning to library services as the overhang of managing within Covid restrictions gradually disappeared,” stated a chief executive’s report on the Library and Arts Service.
Libraries almost back to normal after Covid

A retirement presentation was made to long serving staff members Bernie Wallace and Maria O’Brien by the Cork County Library Service this year.

CORK’S county libraries have nearly returned to normal following Covid, according to a report presented to Cork County Council this week.

By the end of quarter two, “a much more normal feel was returning to library services as the overhang of managing within Covid restrictions gradually disappeared,” stated a chief executive’s report on the Library and Arts Service.

“By the end of June, we were seeing 78% issues when compared to the same period in 2019. We are very happy with this indicator. We have not returned to full programming and are confident that when we do in September that we will see a very strong end to 2022 and a full capacity year in 2023.”

April saw the return of some library activities that had been paused since Covid. On April 6, the service welcomed the knitting group back to Midleton Library service.

In Carrigaline, Crocon Engineers completed the roof inspection and filed their report. The plan is to close the library for a period of eight weeks when the works are underway.

In Passage West, a new fully accessible and automated door unit has been fitted and ramp and drainage works completed. The Municipal District has funded improvements to the general appearance of the car park space with planting, and an age-friendly bench. The line spacing works was completed this week with a designated Disability and Age friendly space.

Meanwhile, DTA Architects have been appointed as consultants for the New Youghal Library project.

The past couple of months have seen a number of issues sorted out while staff became familiar with new IT and digital upgrades installed as part of a new library management system called Spydus, which was installed in April across the country.

A new interface is also available for the public to allow them to view their library accounts to include the ability to renew and reserve items.

Books in Ukrainian and English language support books are available for distribution throughout the county.

The Library Service saw many retirements during this period. Long-serving and valued staff members, Bernie Wallace, Maria O’Brien, and Linda McEvoy retired.

Kim Smyth left to pursue a role in academic libraries. A stream of recruitment has followed on from these and other vacancies.

A new local studies website was launched in May. The new website provides enhanced access to a wide range of resources, including recently digitised material such as the Irish Tourist Association files and Standish Barry Estate maps.

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