Guest post by Ciarán Quinn, Maynooth University Library
On Wednesday the 25th of November instead of my usual dash to work through the back roads of Kildare from Newbridge to Maynooth University Library, I had the pleasure of starting my working day with a stroll of a mile or so to Newbridge Public Library (and County Library) on the Athgarvan Road. The reason for my visit you ask? It was part of the Job Swop Scheme for Library Ireland Week.
To my shame (and also the cut backs in opening hours in these recessionary times) I'd never actually been inside the building so I was looking forward to having my curiosity satisfied. It is a landmark Art Deco building in the town and was built in 1936. This building now houses the "History and Family Research Centre" with the Library itself in a more modern adjoining building. The Library administration is housed in the Rivebank Arts Centre which is adjacent.
I was met by Suzanne Brosnan (my Swop partner) who had already spent one day on the job swop with me in Maynooth University and she gave me a tour of the Library. Later in the morning she continued my tour with an opportunity to see how the administrative side of things worked and to meet some of the Library staff. I was really impressed with the many services they provide. Earlier in the morning I also had a chance to see one of their excellent services in progress with the arrival of the local National School Children to return, renew and borrow books. I was really impressed by their enthusiasm and thought what a great job they are doing in passing on the pleasure of Libraries to a future generation. Thanks to the other Suzanne for looking after me.
After a nice lunch in the Riverbank Arts Centre I spent the afternoon with James Durney (Historical Researcher with the Kildare Heritage Company and Author) who works in the Kildare Local Studies Dept. and Karel Kiely Genealogist. She was closely involved in the development of the Kildare Online Database of Genealogical Records. Both were very generous with their time. I received a fascinating insight into the Archives in Kildare with James and the processes involved in developing a genealogical database and how to search for your family history in the most effective way with Karel. So overall a day well spent and an introduction to a great Library Service on my doorstep, I'll be back! Thanks Newbridge Library and thanks to the Library Ireland Week Jobs Swop scheme - a great initiative.