Dublin has a rich literary heritage and takes great pride in maintaining an extensive network of more than 20 well-stocked public libraries. Throughout the year, Dublin City Libraries offer events such as lectures, shows and workshops for kids and adults. The libraries are also great places to pick up leaflets, flyers and other information on what’s going on in a particular area, from cultural events and freebies to local politics.
Dublin City Libraries are free to the public. It is free to join and there are no costs involved in taking books out. The typical rental period is four calendar weeks. Late returns incur a penalty of €0.50 per title per week.
Dublin City libraries operate from a communal catalogue, which means you can get any title that is available anywhere in the city, regardless of whether your local library has it or not. If you ask for a particular book in Drumcondra and it is currently only available in Rathmines, your librarian will order the title for you and it will be posted from Rathmines to Drumcondra free of charge. If you want to make sure you get hold of a particular title, you can also reserve books. Reservations carry a charge of €0.50 per title.
Dublin libraries offer free broadband and wireless access to the Internet and have PCs available for visitors without a laptop. You have to book access to a PC for a set time, typically 30 minutes. You do not have to be a member to avail of any of these services. Please ask at your local library for internet access details and availability of PCs.
How To Join The Library
Any person living or working in Dublin City or County is entitled to join at any Dublin library. If you are in Dublin on a short term stay, you may still join the library if you get a person who is resident in Dublin to guarantee for you. Persons under the age of eighteen need the signature of a parent or guardian. You will need two documents as proof of name and address, typically a recent utility bill or bank statement with your Dublin address and a valid passport, student card etc.
Online Library Search
You can search for books online, find out which library has the title you are looking for and whether it is currently available or on loan. You can also reserve the book directly from your PC or laptop avoiding nasty surprises such as the book having been lent to somebody else while you made your way to the library. Reservations cost €0.50 per title. If a title is not available, you can have it sent to your local library for free. The search interface is easy to use and gives you a wide range of search options, so you can look for books by author, title, keywords, ISBN number and more. Please note, to reserve a book online you will need a valid library card and PIN number, which are available from your local library.
A mobile library van makes weekly rounds to areas which are not serviced by a public library. The mobile library offers internet access and can order you books from all over Dublin just like a bricks-and-mortar branch. The library van visits among other areas Artane, Beaumont, Killester and Donnycarney on the Northside and Walkinstown, Inchicore and Bluebell on the Southside. Please note that the mobile library service does not operate during the month of August.
Where To Find Your Local Dublin City Library
The Dublin City Council website features a library finder which helps you locate your nearest City Library branch on a map. The library finder is based on Google Maps.
Other Libraries In Dublin
Ireland’s oldest library is the Trinity College Library on the Trinity university campus at College Green. It contains more than 1 million volumes dating back as far as the 8th century. Thanks to its historical privileges, Trinity Library has the right to a copy of any title printed in Ireland and the UK. Other notable libraries in Dublin are the Chester Beatty Library, Marsh’s Library, the National Library and the Royal Irish Academy Library.