Minister Welcomes Committee’s Regional Library Motion
Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Reference: CAL 01/13/14
The Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure today brought a Motion to the floor of the Assembly which called on the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to support the redevelopment of Belfast Central Library as a regional library hub.
Chairperson of the Committee, Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA, said: "Today's Motion was about recognising the economic, social and educational benefits that a regional library for Northern Ireland could provide.
"Belfast Central Library has served the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland for the last 125 years. However, while once considered to be a leading city library, this architectural gem is now blighted by the ravages of time and can no longer deliver all the services expected of a modern, fit-for-purpose library.
"The Committee is delighted that the Minister has agreed to look favourably upon Libraries NI proposals to deliver a fitting flagship building within a transformed communications and learning hub at Library Square.
"A regional library offers a number of additional benefits which complement the important role played by library services in local communities, which the Committee supports."
Irene Knox, Libraries NI, said: "Libraries NI is grateful to the Committee for bringing this motion forward today; and for its recognition of the important role of Belfast Central Library. Libraries NI is also appreciative of the Minister's support, in principle, of a redeveloped central library."
Notes to Editors:
Michelle McIlveen (Chairperson)
William Irwin (Deputy Chairperson)
Cathal Ó hOisín
 With effect from 01 October 2012 Mr William Humphrey replaced Ms Brenda Hale
 With effect from 10 September 2012 Ms Rosie McCorley replaced Mr Pat Sheehan
 With effect from 04 March 2013 Mr Basil McCrea replaced Mr Robin Swann
 With effect from 12 September 2011 Mr Oliver McMullan replaced Mr Gerry Kelly