Kevin Street Library keeps the community together

It seems like no sooner had the library reopened after years of renovation than Covid-19 closed it down again. The Liberty hears from branch manager Charlotte Fabian about a beloved local institution.

Like most indoor spaces in Ireland, Kevin Street Library closed its doors in March 2020 when lockdown restrictions were introduced in Ireland.  

Prior to this, the library was also closed for several years for a €3.9 million modernisation and refurbishment.

It had opened back up in September 2018.  

Despite ongoing closures, the Kevin Street Library has continued to keep the Dublin 8 community together through online events and e-libraries.  

“People don’t realise how much libraries have adapted to change and moved into the 21st century and have greatly expanded their services. These were mostly in place before the pandemic but have come to prominence now that the library has been closed for so long,” said Charlotte Fabian, branch manager of Kevin Street Library.  

“We have plenty of events which are online and others which will be on in the library when we open back up. We don’t just have e-books, we also have online classes where people can do all sorts of courses.  

“That’s what we’re trying to push out to people, to provide them with entertainment and learning even when we aren’t open,” Fabian said.

While the library did partially re-open last June, the only service available was a click-and-collect process where borrowers were able to search a book online and order it into the library. 

If the library already had the requested book, borrowers would be contacted when their book was available for collection.  

Kevin Street Library’s kids’ section. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Fabian. 

“It worked well and was very well-received,” said Fabian.  

“The only downside was the inability for people to enter the library and browse books. So people had to have an idea which books they were looking to order and look them up in the catalogue,” Fabian said. 

While online services aren’t the preferred way for Kevin Street Library to operate, recent closures have certainly led to an improvement of the library’s online catalogue.  

“Over the past few months, we’ve moved basically the whole library online. We all now have Facebook pages which we didn’t have before, along with other social media pages for the Dublin City libraries such as InstagramTwitter and a Vimeo channel,” Fabian said.  

“The library is not just about books; it’s about being able to go there and meet up with people and spend time in there for free.”


“We have a huge number of resources these days which a lot of people are unaware of. We have plenty of events which are online and will be on in the library when we open back up. 

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on my job as well. Now it is completely different from last year. I’ve now learned skills like running our Facebook page and posting online, which I would have had no idea how to do around this time last year,” Fabian said.

“The library is not just about books. It’s about being able to go there and meet up with people and spend time in there for free. It’s one of the only places in society that you can do that in an indoors space, and that’s what we’re most proud of,” said Fabian. 

While Kevin Street Library caters to all ages, their main priority and targets are children and the elderly, who would be the main visitors to the library when it was fully open.  

One such resource catered for kids is part of the annual campaign called ‘Spring into Storytime’, which encourages children to read.

Children can listen to Storytime on the library’s Facebook page through a parent’s account, or on their Vimeo channel.  

Other events which the community can partake in includes online quizzes and book club discussions – all available through the Kevin Street Facebook page.  

Although the library has been closed a lot over the past few years, Fabian is certain that the library will continue to be a hub for everyone in Dublin 8 and the surrounding areas.  

“Kevin Street Library is a special place because it’s so beautiful, especially since it’s been refurbished.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *