Sunday, 5 July 2015

Terenure, Rathmines, Walkinstown and Ballyroan Libraries

We've been doing a bit of a library tour recently. My kids are on school holidays and there are no less than four libraries within a walk or short drive of home. (And, having done playgrounds and the zoo and MacDonalds and Dundrum Shopping Centre to death, they are the only places I am willing to go to. Sorry kids, its stay home or go to the library!)

So I thought I'd do a bit of a review. The criteria I'm judging them on is parking and librarian friendliness and my boys were just looking for the one with the most and best graphic novels.

Terenure Library:
This is our local library. The staff are quiet but will help if we ask them. They don't talk to the kids but they don't tell them to keep quiet either. Parking is a pain (sparse and pay and display) but I don't need to park so it suits me. There's a good few graphic novels (not least the adored Anima series, pictured above.) Its a small building with an even smaller kids section, but anything can be requested. I've been here about once a week for the past fourteen years, so I know what they have - and my kids have read all their graphic novels many times. Eight out of ten.

Rathmines Library:

I've only been here once but the librarians are very friendly, chatty and super nice to kids. Its housed in a lovely, lovely old building that was purpose built in 1912. Yeats has lectured there and the stained glass window is by William Morris. Its all really beautiful, I loved it. From my boys point of view there weren't that many graphic novels they hadn't seen before and unfortunately, the parking is a pain. It is pay and display only and there can be a bit of looking around to get a spot. (That said, if you are the type of person to have the right change for a meter always handy it wouldn't be a problem.) Eight  out of ten.

Walkinstown Library:

My boys loved Walkinstown. There were loads and loads of graphic novels (like these Pokemon ones), the staff could not have been nicer and the place was buzzing with people from about four to eighty plus, taking out books, using computers and doing library stuff. And the parking was right outside and free. The building is certainly nothing fancy, but the atmosphere and great selection made it fantastic. Ten out of ten.

Ballyroan Library:
This is the newly built, award winning, architecty one. It is massive, airy and the first thing my youngest wants to do when we go in is run around. As does every other small child. And the first thing the staff ask is that we control our children. Anyways, I know, I know, its not a playground, and the staff will help find books, if asked. I suppose I just think that as they work in such amazing, brand new, beautiful surroundings, they could be a little more smiley.

And, while I'm complaining, there is no drop off box outside. So I can't leave back borrowed books outside opening hours. Which proves to me that the architect who designed the place was not a frequent library user her or himself. Just saying. Also, parking here is a pain. If you arrive after ten thirty, there's never a spot in the car park and on busy days, residents in the area stand outside their houses threatening to call the police if their driveways are blocked. I don't blame them, who wants their driveway blocked? But it does not add to the invitingness of the library, sadly.

They have a good few graphic novels and overall, a massive selection of books. And of course, nearly everything can be requested. Six out of ten.

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