May 19, 2022

Ireland: Self-Service Libraries to Allow Night-Time Checkouts, Cardholders Will Be Able to Enter Building After-Hours

From the Irish Times:

A great and solemn trust is being placed in the Irish people. From next year, citizens will, for the first time in the history of the State, be able to borrow a book from a public library, without a librarian present.

Members of the public will be able to access their library outside the normal opening hours, without a member of staff present, and check books out, under the open libraries initiative from the Department of the Environment.

The new system, while relying to a great extent on the good behaviour of users, will be supported by technology.


Library staff in other countries in which open libraries operate, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Taiwan, report extremely positive experiences and that despite initial apprehension, very few disturbances occurred; in fact those which did occur were of a minor nature.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.