Membership soaring at once threatened Draperstown library

Elizabeth Adair,Draperstown branch manageress and  Ailie Kolbohm, part-time member of staff. INMM3813-148ar.
Elizabeth Adair,Draperstown branch manageress and Ailie Kolbohm, part-time member of staff. INMM3813-148ar.

RISING numbers of people are using the new library in Draperstown, which was officially opened last week by the DARD minister Michelle O’Neill.

Having once faced the threat of closure, Libraries NI worked in partnership with The Workspace Group who approached SWARD grant scheme, to obtain a £50,000 grant for the branch.

This was put towards the approximate £125,000 cost of refurbishing the building on High Street for the library.

A further £50,000 was secured from the Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme towards the costs with the balance of the £25,000 being met by Workspace.

According to Libraries NI, the active membership has increased by over 19% (from April - July 2013) compared to the same period last year, “proving that the new facility is being well used and supported”.

Members in the new spacious building can enjoy free Internet access on six public computers and use its Information Services.

A children’s area has been created which can accommodate local schools visits and activities such as Rhythm and Rhyme sessions for pre-school children.

The library will host free monthly events, including a Children’s Reading Group, an Adult Reading Group and Got IT! introductory computer sessions. Ask staff for details! Library membership is free.

Brian Murray from Workspace said: “It is great to see local consultation actually working for local benefit.”