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Controversial €36.6m Dun Laoghaire library finally opens its doors

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Three year old Leah O Broin from Killiney , browses through some  books  on the opening  day of the dlr LexIcon Library in DunLaoghaire .

Three year old Leah O Broin from Killiney , browses through some books on the opening day of the dlr LexIcon Library in DunLaoghaire .

Picture of of Dun Laoghaire LexIcon

Picture of of Dun Laoghaire LexIcon

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Three year old Leah O Broin from Killiney , browses through some books on the opening day of the dlr LexIcon Library in DunLaoghaire .

A CONTROVERSIAL €36.6m library and cultural centre in Dun Laoghaire has opened its doors to the public.

The building became a fiercely-debated issue during the local elections when it was criticised as a "monstrosity".

Dlr Lexicon is the official name for the building, and it officially opened yesterday. It houses 80,000 books, CDs and DVDs.

"The Lexicon embraces the modern concept of what a library should be - a key community space where all are welcome," said county librarian Mairead Owens.

"When people walk through the door I hope they get a sense of 'wow'.

"It's a stunning public space and quite extraordinary."

Ms Owens said it will be a key component in the delivery of the cultural programme in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

"It will be a vibrant centre of learning and creativity for all those who live, work in and visit the county," she added.

Not everyone was so pleased during construction, with business groups and local election candidates complaining about the cost and scale of the building which dominates the seafront.

That row was put to one side yesterday when Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council chairperson Marie Baker was the first customer to borrow some books.

She took time to check out the children's library with some of the early birds there.

Set over four floors, the Lexicon houses separate reading rooms, a children's library, a 100-seat performance space, the county's first municipal gallery, a cafe and a local history section with study spaces.

Moran Park has also been extensively landscaped and redeveloped as part of the Lexicon works.

A new water feature is an integral element of the park, and the gardens will host events, exhibits, film screenings, markets and performances.

The library features a self-service book sorter for 24-hour book return.

fdillon@herald.ie


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