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Our Mission Statement
To provide a responsive, accessible and inclusive library service for all our customers, which fosters reading, stimulates the imagination and contributes to lifelong learning and cultural recreation.
History of Sligo Library
In September 1880 Sligo Library was declared open in the Town Hall. In the first report from the librarian David Saultry, it is stated that the book stocks were at the 1,200 mark and that an average of 110 persons were using the service daily. In 1923, the Carnegie Trust commenced the organisation of a County Library Scheme in Sligo at the request of Sligo County Council and Sligo clergymen. Consequentially, they took over the running of the library. Within a few months of the takeover, book stocks had risen to over 2000 volumes and almost twenty new distribution centres had been established. These were for the greater part located in national schools throughout the county.
By the year 1925 the library’s stock had reached 4000 volumes and it had sixty distribution centres. The space in the Town Hall was no longer sufficient and so the library relocated to the rear of the Model School. In the Autumn of 1925 Sligo County Council took full responsibility of the library. At that time it was only the second County in Ireland and the first in Connaught to have its own library service. The space available to the library became an issue once again in 1931. It was no longer adequate for the library’s needs. Another room in the same building was rented from the Department of Education.
The service continued to grow and in 1952 with a book stock of 40,000 it needed to relocate yet again. The library moved to The Independent Church on Stephen Street in the town centre where it is still located today.It has expanded greatly over the years and now has a total membership of over 23,000 and a book stock of almost 125,000. The library maintains a comprehensive adult and juvenile lending service containing books, periodicals, audio material, CD-ROMs, videos and DVDs, fiction and non-fiction. It also houses an up to date reference section.
Among the other services offered are
It also acts as a focal point for community activity in the areas of culture, heritage and education, through the use of exhibitions, activities and cultural events. Membership of the library is free of charge.
History of the Independent Church
By Rev. William Newman Hall (from Irish Congregational Magazine March 1895.)
In 1780, when Evangelical Christianity was at a low ebb in the west of Ireland, a God-fearing Scotsman, Mr. A. Maiken, a linen merchant, came to Sligo and commenced a service on Sunday with a few like-minded men. Eleven years later they built a church, receiving help in the undertaking from the Countess of Huntingdon. Some time before this, a young man, who had slipped carelessly into one of the prayer meetings, was led to surrender himself to the saviour and for nearly half a century Albert Blest was the most earnest and energetic member of the little church. In 1801 the Rev. Claudius Morrison, one of the Haldane’s students, became the first pastor and laboured for ten years with great faithfulness and affection. He was succeeded by the Rev. William Urwick, afterwards a D.D. and famous as the pastor of York Street, Dublin, for nearly forty years.
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