Galway City Library, Galway, Ireland – an elegant oasis in the heart of a lively city

Written by Ciara Ní Riain.

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Galway City Library is an elegant oasis in the heart of one of the best and liveliest small cities in the world . Yes that’s right, in the whole wide world.

Located in the heart of historic, hopelessly hip and happening Galway, the library is as lovely as it is peaceful. Even the signage is beautifully crafted.

“The library service is Ireland’s largest and most established cultural resource, one which is deeply democratic, egalitarian and freely available to everyone.”

The council-run Galway Library Service is not just saying that. Tourists and locals alike are made feel welcome as soon as they step in. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. The range of free resources is terrific – books, music, games, magazines and newspapers.

There are fantastic historical archives, genealogical research tools, and access to free online courses ranging from digital photography and yoga to child psychology and Japanese.

It’s easy to find your way around – in two languages. Signs and information are, of course, in both Irish and English. And if you don’t understand Irish but your interest is piqued, well you’re in a wonderful leabharlann so you’re only a few footsteps away from an abundance of free Irish language resources and dictionaries.

It’s always a pleasure to spend time in such a lovely, welcoming library. Even more so when it’s in Galway, a creative, literary city that is home to many artists, writers and award-winning independent booksellers like Charlie Byrne’s, Dubray Books and Kennys Bookshop.

Galway is also a second home to Ireland’s most beloved poet – the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. We can’t guarantee that you will see the President chatting to a local man with a budgie on his shoulder as you stroll towards the library. But this being Galway, we can’t guarantee that you won’t.

Photo courtesy of @aggiehh

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