I don’t know exactly when the first library began in Lucan, but back in the 1890s there were ‘Reading Rooms’ on Main Street, just beside St. Andrew’s Church – the short laneway in between was known locally as ‘Reading House Lane’.

Image by the late Tommy Graham

I can lay claim to being a Juvenile Member of Lucan Library in the days of Terry Brady! Terry, a well-read man, was the local postman, and also the librarian. In fact, he lived in the lodge at the back of the Library.

The children’s section of the 50s and 60s was a very small area in an alcove near the doorway – the door itself was a narrow double door which some portly people found troublesome when only one side was open. Sunday morning was the time we children made our weekly visit either to renew a book or take out another one. God forbid if the return date was past there was a fine and nearly worse was librarian’s frown. 

There were a couple of steps up to the grown-ups section with its own musty smell – books may well have been on those shelves since the 1800s, though the adult membership would lead one to believe that there was plenty of interesting reading to be found there.

Mr Brady passed away in 1970, and for some time the Library operated on a part-time basis, until the time came for the Mobile Library to be introduced ‘temporarily’ to Lucan!

Fast forward to the late 90s, and before the century was out, Lucan had a spanking new library. Although situated outside the village, it has since become a hub of activity for locals.

While reading is still a main focus, the monthly programme offers all sorts of events, for all abilities and ages! The mind boggles at what is on offer - LEGO Workshop for Chinese New Year, Chess for kids, Toddler activities, Arts and Creativity, Talks on all kinds of things, Walks around Lucan, a Book Club, A Writers’ Club, a Film Club, a Knitting Club, Classes in Languages, and always an Exhibition on the go. (Full details on Page 12 of this issue)

Today’s establishment certainly is a far cry from the ‘Reading Rooms’ of Lucan!

Mary Mulhall

January 17, 2019 - 9:15pm

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