Also in need of attention was the lighting system, which had become
unsuitable both from a functional point of view and also aesthetic. Like many
other branches of its age, Dolphin’s Barn had a large, unwelcoming counter,
built like a fortress around the staff, which too would have to be replaced.
Likewise, the shelving, lounge furniture and mismatching desks bought at
different times to accommodate new technologies, contributed to the overall
dilapidated state of the library. Despite the best efforts of the staff there to
display stock and make the library an exciting and engaging space.
Dublin City Public Libraries engaged the services of a designer who has
worked extensively on libraries across the UK to design a new floorplan for the
library taking into account the changes detailed above and also to provide a
colour scheme that would brighten up the library. Based on the final design and
after a process of tendering for suppliers, the works began with the replacement
of the lighting, with the floor following after. The floor was completed over
the last bank holiday weekend when the old desk was demolished. New shelving,
lounge and study furniture and new desking for PCs and other technologies were
also installed over the weekend and following week, along with the new
counter.As you will see in the ‘after’ photo, Dolphin’s Barn has been
transformed into a vibrant, colourful and exciting new library. However, with
some nice features from the old library remaining, we also have a library that
has the character sometimes lacking in the sales catalogues.