Building work on a new €20m extension to a university library was today given the go ahead.
Tanaiste and Education Minister Mary Coughlan approved the contract to almost double the size of the library at the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Maynooth.
It is expected to open for a new intake of students in September 2012.
Ms Coughlan said the project will transform the library and provide modern state-of-the-art facilities.
"The provision of this facility is critical to the future of the university due to the unprecedented demand for library space and services arising from increased student numbers," said Ms Coughlan.
"NUI Maynooth has experienced consistent growth in enrolment numbers over the past decade with current enrolments standing at 6,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 postgraduate students.
"The 2010 intake of 2,000 students is the highest ever as the university continues to see more students applying to study at NUIM."
The project will deliver over 6,000sq/m of new space. When integrated with existing facilities it will give the university a library with a total area of 10,000sq/m.
The construction contract which has been awarded to Walls Construction Ltd accounts for €14m, while a further €6m is required for furniture, fit out, equipment and enabling works.
Ms Coughlan added: "This contract will bring Government capital investment in NUI Maynooth to over €50m in the past decade."