Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde makes a presenation to David O’Brien, Cork City Librarian to mark the special occasion of Cork City Libraries celebrating its 130th anniversary with Adrienne Deasy, Director of Services and Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council. Photos: Brian Lougheed

Cork City Libraries are telling stories for 130 years

Talk about a long story with more chapters on the way!

It’s the story Cork City Libraries which recently celebrated its 130th year anniversary.

The Lord Mayor of Cork held a civic ceremony at the council chamber to mark the occasion.

Up to 100 staff from across the city’s 10 libraries heard from a former Cork City Libraries colleague, acclaimed Cork poet Thomas McCarthy who spoke about the legacy of the Burning of Cork and its effects on the library while UCC’s Mairead Mooney spoke about the first City Librarian, James Wilkinson and the important work he did in the libraries’ early years.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde said: “Creativity and community are at the heart of our libraries with Cork City Libraries doing phenomenal work to support emerging literary voices in the city through Cork World Book Festival and partnerships with literary organisations like the Munster Literature Centre, Cork’s monthly poetry event, Ó Bheal, the MA in Creative Writing at UCC and Live at the Library Music Sessions.

“I know library staff are particularly proud of the inclusion work that they do to ensure out-reach such as Library Link, the service for people who are housebound and in care homes, the Growing Imaginations Service for people with intellectual disabilities and a range of autism friendly services.”

City Librarian David O’Brien said: “Cork City Library on Grand Parade has been described as the ‘city’s intellectual engine room’ by Cork poet Theo Dorgan but libraries are also spaces where creativity and curiosity – in its many forms – is fired, nourished and expressed. For 130 years, Cork City Libraries has sought to provide safe civic spaces with something for all ages and abilities. Not only do we provide access to books but we offer public talks, meeting spaces, curated exhibitions and digital resources.”