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Following yesterday’s easing of restrictions, more in Carlow and Kilkenny are opening their doors today

It seems a rise in reading rates is one of the positives of the pandemic

Carlow and Kilkenny are both reporting a cautious but welcomed return to business in many areas. 

A number of retailers and service providers opened their doors for the first time yesterday with other restrictions eased too.

Carlow libraries met book borrowers on Monday with staff officer Fiona O’Toole telling KCLR News “83 booked in yesterday for book or browse and that’s a phenomenal number, we were delighted, the people coming in were delighted, just an air of optimism and people thinking ‘yeah, we’re getting back to normal, there was a lovely air about the place”.

She adds “Lockdown for all of us has made us really appreciate all the services that are available to us, people love the library, just it may be for some people to come in and read the newspaper or things like that, obviously those services aren’t available yet for people it’s purely the call or collect and book and browse, but as things get back to normal and other services become available we’ll be back I suppose as a community hub”.

And going forward, the online focus will be retained, with another virtual offering set to take place as Ms O’Toole outlines “It’s a Healthy Ireland at your Library event and this event is called ‘Healthy Gut Healthy You and it’s with Gillian McConnell of Inside Out Nutrition on zoom this Friday at 11am and people can book a place by emailing [email protected] they say everything starts with the gut and she’s a brilliant speaker”.

More on Carlow libraries here.

It’s Kilkenny’s turn today and County Librarian Josephine Coyne’s been telling KCLR News “Really looking forward to welcoming people back in through our doors, we have a service available today called book and browse so people can make an appointment and actually come into the library and choose their own books in all of our branches, apart from Callan and Thomastown at the moment, but in those two branches we’ve a contact and collect service so look it it’s a great day, we’ve been really looking forward to it, we’ve missed people and I think people have missed us”.

And it seems reading’s one of the winners of the pandemic, with Ms Coyne noting “We’ve seen massive increases in the amount of even members that used us which is ironic with our doors closed because they were able to also go online and use e-books and e-audio so quite a lot of our users did that and we also got new users to use that service but at the end of the day, and I think a lot of the studies will show, reading for enjoyment and pleasure has been a really positive thing in people’s lives during lockdown”.

She adds “Our mobile service has been running to the schools, just doing drop-offs, but we got great feedback from children and we’d a comment from a student in Tullaroan saying that she just loved being able to read and forget about the pandemic, a little girl in sixth class, so you can see how important it was to be able to go into that world where you can I suppose get away from the reality of what was going on in real life”.

More on Kilkenny libraries here.


File photo by Edwina Grace of Butler Gallery at Evans’ Home, Kilkenny

The Butler Gallery too at Evans’ Home has another month to go before their main gallery reopens with Richard Mosse’s Incoming indoors and Grid (Moria) outdoors as part of the Brightening Air series of events.

But their collection galleries are available from 10 o’clock this morning (Tuesday, 11 May) to anybody who books a free ticket in advance.


File photo by Edwina Grace, Kilkenny Castle

Meanwhile, Kilkenny’s most popular tourist attraction, the Castle, opened its doors for the first time this year yesterday and Anne Teehan says the bad weather prevented more from swinging by.

Listen back to her conversation with our Sue Nunn on The Way It Is here:

Hair Care

Sue also caught up with some of the crew and customers at Kieran O’Gorman’s salon in Kilkenny City: