New policy in place at all Wexford libraries
A new policy on public libraries in Wexford is now in place.
Speaking at last Monday's meeting of Wexford County Council Director of Services John Carley informed the members that 'due to restrictions of size and capacity' within the public library spaces meant that a policy had to be put in place.
'Public libraries are open, inclusive and neutral public spaces and the intention is that they are used as widely as possible by members of the community to enjoy learning and recreational activities and opportunities free of charge.
'Due to restrictions of size, capacity and time-tabling, library activity and exhibition spaces are used primarily for the programmes and events and exhibitions organised by the staff of Wexford County Council Public Library Service. The nature of these activities is varied and inclusive and aims to serve the education, cultural and developmental needs of citizens of all ages in County Wexford.'
Mr Carley said that the library service 'may also make spaces available to community groups and agencies' according to certain criteria. 'The aim of this policy is to ensure that libraries continue to be accessible public spaces, open to all while clearly setting out the mechanisms for groups to apply to host activities and exhibitions in libraries.'
Cllr Johnny Mythen wondered what avenues of appeal were open to community groups who were refused permission to host an event in the library.
Mr Carley said that it was 'very rare' that people would be refused permission to use the library but said that in the past people had contacted staff hours before they wanted to host an event which he said wasn't an ideal situation.
'The idea is to make the library as open as possible', he said.
Cllr Deirdre Wadding said it is 'always good to have a team of people making decisions' and wondered what had prompted the compilations of the policy document.
Mr Carley said it had come down to 'sheer volume. We wanted to put a process in place to get people to plan rather than arrive at the door.'
He pointed out that hundreds of events had take place across all five public library in the county over the past year.