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Information Age Revolutionises Clare Library Services

Clare Champion, 2 Feb 2001

With Eircom Ennis Information Age Town providing investment worth 112,000, Clare County Library now provides a range of services unparalleled in Ireland. That's according to County Librarian, Noel Crowley, who said that new and exciting developments in information technology put Clare at the forefront of library development world-wide. "We believe that what we have achieved in Clare can provide a useful model for the rest of the country", Mr. Crowley said.

Noel Crowley, County Librarian,  William Moloney, County Manager, Sean Hillery, Chairman Clare County Council greeting Minister Noel Dempsey to DeValera Library, Ennis for the launch of the new library  services and online publications
Noel Crowley, County Librarian,  William Moloney, County Manager, Sean Hillery, Chairman Clare County Council greeting
Minister Noel Dempsey to DeValera Library, Ennis for the launch of the new library
services and online publications

The County Librarian was speaking during a visit to the De Valera Library in Ennis by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Noel Dempsey, T.D. The Minister formally launched eight new on-line publications, the Community Information Service and new Readers Services. The online publications include Hely Dutton's Statistical Survey of Co. Clare 1808, an Index to Biographical Notices in The Clare Champion over a fifty year period from 1935-85, and the Index to Griffith's Valuation which contains 33,000 names of people in Clare in 1855.

The Chief Executive of Eircom Ennis Information Age Town, Mr. Michael Byron, said it was not an overstatement to claim that Clare County Library has re-invented itself over the past few years. "We are proud to have played a significant part in the development of the library services which benefits not just Ennis but all of county Clare. The resources of the library are now more available to everyone, and Clare people can look forward to exciting times interacting with their library service. The investment of 112,000 by Eircom Ennis Information Age will bring benefits to the public far in excess of the sum of money involved", he said.

Detailing the on-line Reader Services now available, Librarian Noel Crowley said the user can now search the Clare Library catalogue from home. "You can check what books you have on loan, renew them, place requests for particular titles, post reviews of books you have read and recommend titles for purchase by the Library. You can now do all of this by simply accessing us at http://www.clarelibrary.ie." In addition, Mr. Crowley also said the user can also search a wide ranging Community Information database featuring clubs, societies and organisations as well as local facilities, education and training resources.

It is planned to keep adding to the substantial number of Online Publications on the site, which can be read, researched and enjoyed by all from the comfort of home. The County Librarian said he would also like to acknowledge the substantial funding made available by the Department of the Environment and Local Government towards the overall project.

Minister Noel Dempsey, Noel Crowley,  County Librarian, Sean Hillery, Chairman Clare County Council and William Moloney,  County Manager, looking at the new  standup Internet Access PC's in DeValera Library, Ennis at the launch of the new library services and online publications
Minister Noel Dempsey, Noel Crowley,
County Librarian,  Sean Hillery, Chairman
Clare County Council and William Moloney, County Manager,  looking at the new
standup Internet Access PC's in DeValera Library, Ennis at the launch of the new
library services and online publications
Mr. Crowley said that in five years the Library has moved from a paper based model to the most sophisticated computer system available. At present, all branch libraries are on-line using high-speed ISDN and ADS links. The Library is a member of Tails Information Ltd., a CO-operative of over 100 public, special and academic libraries, giving the library immediate access to the largest bibliographical database in Europe of over 16 million records.

"This new venture in partnership with Eircom Ennis Information Age Town is a huge step forward, with full and free access to our Catalogue, Reader Services, Community Information Database and Online Publications being available from anywhere in the world".

This is not just a first for Irish libraries, but establishes Clare County Library at the forefront of library development world-wide. Mr. Crowley added that the staff of Clare County Library were tremendously proud of this achievement. Mr. Crowley also told the Minister that during the past year 45,000 free computer sessions were booked in Library's county-wide free Internet Access Service. The Minister also viewed four new stand-up "surf till you drop" Internet points which can be used by the public without advanced booking in De Valera branch library.

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