art, dublin, dun laoghaire, essential parenting implements, fridays smell of freshly painted raspberry pillars, ireland, monochrome, photography, portrait, street photography

Closing down sale

70% off on fines for late returns! Hurry! While stocks last. 


Got an email from Mairead Owens, County Librarian (second best star sign after Regional Virgo) at 4:14PM informing me that the library was about to close its doors for the last time to the book-hungry public at 5:00 PM today.

I have used the Carnegie a lot in the last four years. Great little library, just round the corner from work. Always liked the idea of a Carnegie library in Dun Laoghaire, the idea that back in the days (in 1912 in that case) the very wealthy were putting something concrete back into the community.

Well done Mr Carnegie. Your name does deserve to be remembered to this day. I doubt very much that there will be plebs using public facilities named after Simon Cowell in 2114… (as the Irish saying goes, the man wouldn’t give you the steam of his piss).

That email did stir something in me.

I didn’t have to think long about it, I just grabbed my camera bag and walked the 500 meters to the soon-to-be-defunct public facility I have most used during my time in Dun Laoghaire (the second most used being the toilets in the Town Hall, I have no qualms about it, given the amount we pay every year in parking charges, the DLRCOCO can have my urine. And its steam.)

And sure enough, and I do not think that it was just me, but there was a sense of occasion to that last half hour in the Carnegie lib.

I took a few shots, had a few chats with the last users, debated the future of Scotland with Colm who was doing his homework on Windows 8 before purchasing his new laptop.

And then I left. A little sad.

It’s not easy to let go of the past. It is also quite futile to cling on to it. Change is good. Well, change can be good. I’m quite sure I will enjoy the new library. The view on the bay should be quite fantastic. And it will be all bright, and super new for at least 15 years, and the moaners will stop moaning within a year or two.

I would like to think that some positive use will be made of the aul Carnegie.

Something that will benefit the community. A bit like what the old man had in mind when he decided to spend a fraction of his wealth for the common good.

But the council are not Carnegie. Carnegie financed the Show. The council are the Muppets.


Thanks Colm and John and the reader-whose-name-I-forgot-to-ask for allowing me to feature you in these shots. 











4 thoughts on “Closing down sale

  1. Every time a library closes its doors for the last time the world becomes a little less civilized. It saddens me. A library, and especially a public library, is a democratic place. And they are amazing. There are worlds and worlds there to be explored. One thing is for sure. Democracy cannot flourish without libraries.

  2. What a beautiful building. What are the plans for it? The whole Carnegie donation story is something I must investigate. He obviously invested considerable funds as there are Carnegie libraries all over the country.

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