Gig to mark 21 years of Limerick city music library

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE shelves are stacked with an incredibly diverse range of genres - Iggy Pop sits side-by-side with Chris de Burgh, Captain Beefheart with the Chemical Brothers.

THE shelves are stacked with an incredibly diverse range of genres - Iggy Pop sits side-by-side with Chris de Burgh, Captain Beefheart with the Chemical Brothers.

Yet not many know that the Limerick City Library in the Granary boasts such a huge and dedicated music collection - numbering some 10,000 items - that is free to the public to peruse and take home.

The music library in the Granary marks 21 years in operation this month with a special gig on Thursday night, free to all and featuring top bands Windings and Fred, among others.

“The reason we are having the music event is to promote the music library particularly, because we feel it is a fantastic facility,” explained librarian Mike Maguire.

“It is a deep collection of all kinds of genres, and we feel it is not used enough. People don’t realise it is here or aren’t aware and are very surprised at what they find here.

“For a music fan, somebody into a broad range of music, it is a paradise,” he added.

Twenty one years ago city librarian Maurice Flynn turned the office space into a dedicated music library - and Limerick is one of the few libraries in the country now boasting such a specialised collection in a dedicated area.

“We are one of the few dedicated libraries in the country, there are those that have music collections, but there are maybe only a handful where they actually have a dedicated space that is totally separate from the book collection,” explained music librarian Fiona Ismail.

The library is free to join and users can take up to three items at a time.

The music library also boasts an extensive collection of biographies, music reference books, DVDs and scores.

Last year the library issued 10,500 items to the public, but would like to increase that figure in the future.

“It is a really diverse collection, we have pretty much got a little bit of everything for everyone,” explained Fiona.

“We have stuff that is hard to get elsewhere and that is one of the things we do when we are buying new stock is to look at stuff that it is not easy to walk into a shop and buy.

“The main thing is, if you don’t like a CD, you can bring it back,” she laughed.

The concert this Thursday takes place at 7pm and features trad, classical violin, jazz trio Juxtaposition, plus Fred and Windings and admission is free.

“It should be a great event, we have an interesting line-up and the idea is to reflect the range that we have here where possible, to give people an idea of what we have on offer,” added Fiona.