Carn library: a vital service in the community

Some of the children at the summer club at Carndonagh Library.  (2207JB08)
Some of the children at the summer club at Carndonagh Library. (2207JB08)

Arts and crafts, readathons, male and female book clubs, work experience and a meeting place for many retired people is only some of the words used to describe Carndonagh Library.

Much more than just books, the community library group provides vital services for young and old people all over Inishowen, giving it the highest foot fall of people in the entire peninsula, even competing, at times, with the central library in Letterkenny.

With daily visits from retired people just to read the paper and catch up the their piers, the library, based at the public service centre in Carn, provides an outlet, a meeting place and a social hub in the area.

Sinead McLaughlin staff officer with the Inishowen library services said they are always trying to do something different for children and adults alike.

“We take ideas from other libraries which have been tried and tested and then input them into Inishowen ones. On 20th August we’re having a pavement art day here where the kids can come along, we’ll give them a theme and some chalk and they can draw pictures out here on the pavements. It’s the first time it’s been done it here in Inishowen so we’re looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

“At the minute we have a six week arts and crafts fair where kids come in for an hour on a Wednesday morning in Carn and Tuesday morning in Buncrana. It’s proving really popular so far, we’d 60 people in Buncrana this week and 33 in Carn.”

However not just for kids, the library has a stead flow of a whole variety of people coming through the door every day.

“We have our regulars who come in here just to read the paper and have a chat with a people, i’ts a social thing. It’s a nice inviting environment for them to come into. We also get a local of younger people using the PCs and recently with the tourist office in the PSC a few tourists are coming in to get information on local areas such as Doagh Farm from example.”

Like a multitude of other local government led services, the library has received a massive cut in the funding.

“It is difficult but the staff here are great and we just need to spread the resources out a bit more, it’s important to all the staff to keep the standards high and so we continue to open everyday from Tuesday - Saturday.”

Sinead is also hoping to set up a men’s book club to give a chance to get involved and meet people.

“I think it will be good, it’ll just take a bit of time to get going but if we get a few on board we can take it from there. There is a lot of men out there nowadays with a lot more time on their hands so it’ll give them a chance to get out. Our women’s book club is very popular at the minute.”