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New digital hub for Nenagh Library

Thursday, 16th May, 2019 9:00am
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New digital hub for Nenagh Library

Pictured at the official opening of the new Digital Hub at Nenagh Library are, back row: John Kelly, Anne Doorley, Sarah Jane Daly (Kenneth Hennessy Architects), Donal Lillis, Cllr Joe Hannigan, Damien Dullaghan (County Librarian). Front row: Eileen Bourke, Mary McCormack, Breffni Hannon (Executive

New digital hub for Nenagh Library

Pictured at the official opening of the new Digital Hub at Nenagh Library are, back row: John Kelly, Anne Doorley, Sarah Jane Daly (Kenneth Hennessy Architects), Donal Lillis, Cllr Joe Hannigan, Damien Dullaghan (County Librarian). Front row: Eileen Bourke, Mary McCormack, Breffni Hannon (Executive

Cllr Mattie Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, officially opened a new digital hub at Nenagh Library on Tuesday, May 7th.


This digital hub will provide a suite of new technology solutions to the public. These include the introduction of a new 3D printer, which will be a first for Tipperary County Council Library Service. It will allow library users to print out full 3D designs and prototypes which they can see and touch. The 3D printer will be operated through a brand new high spec Apple iMac, which will have the latest graphics software.  


In addition, a new 65-inch touchscreen will be available for use. This PC will be used as a digital display for learning. It can also be used for presentations with interactive touchscreen software and will have full video conferencing software. This video conferencing facility will be available for the public and local businesses to use.


The Library Service has also introduced new Robotics Technology as part of this innovative development. LEGO Mindstorm Robotics kits will now be available for the LEGO Club at the library and VEX Robotics kits will be available for second level students. These new services will compliment further additional services which have been introduced in the past 12 months. These include remote printing where a library user can now send a document remotely from their own home to be printed in their local library.


The Library Service has also introduced RFID Self Service Technology using high tech kiosks in all branch libraries over the past 12 months.


Cllr Ryan said: “I am delighted to launch the new Digital Hub in Nenagh Library, which I believe will be a great asset for the town. It demonstrates Tipperary County Council's commitment to providing the best possible public services for our citizens.”


Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council Joe MacGrath stated: “Over the past two years, there has been over €1.3 million spent on capital projects in Tipperary County Council Library Service. I believe this new digital hub in Nenagh Library demonstrates Tipperary County Council's commitment to provide a high quality Library Service, which meets the ever-changing needs of our citizens.”


Emma Wing and Esther Mackey from the Adult Guidance and Adult Learning Services of Tipperary ETB were very impressed with the facilities that the hub had to offer and said they would definitely be recommending these additional services to their clients.


Abbey Machinery Ltd, based in Nenagh since 1947, was also represented at the launch of the Digital Hub, with one of their engineers, Paul Beirne, receiving a demonstration of the capabilities of the 3D printer from staff member Donal Lillis. With extensive investment in research and development at the company in recent years, they were extremely interested in learning more about the facilities the Digital Hub will be able to offer.


Catherine Ryan, Marketing Sales Executive with the company, asked about the software available with the 65-inch TV screen and felt that “it is a great thing to have in the locality”.


But undoubtedly the most gratifying sight was that of young people in the hub. John Mulcahy, a teacher at St Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh, brought his Fifth Year DCG (Design and Communication Graphics) students to see a demonstration of the 3D printer. He spoke of the popularity of subjects such as Design and Graphics at St Mary’s and with Sixth Year projects now worth 40% of overall grades, he felt that the Apple iMac with 3D printer offered real potential to senior cycle students.


In his speech, CEO Joe MacGrath, spoke to these young people, expressing the hope that this new Digital Hub will be fully utilised by them, now and in the future. Meanwhile, students of St Mary’s Convent Primary School, regular visitors to the library, milled around the self-service kiosks, library cards and books at the ready.  Recently introduced to the library, this self-service facility gives them the autonomy to check-in and check-out their own books with no more queuing. Young and undaunted by technology, they had taken to the self-service kiosks easily and are now regular users during their class visits.


Staff were delighted to see so many of their regular library users support them on the day, with long-time member Pamela Aitken saying: “I will need to get my designer hat on as I'm dying to try out your 3D printer”, and Jerry Cronin, former principal of St Mary’s Secondary School, adding that “it is really great to see our library marching forward to the beat of the times in which we live”.


Geraldine McNulty meanwhile marvelled at how far the library service in Tipperary has come, adding “did we ever think we would see the day when Nenagh Library would have this kind of equipment?”

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