No! No! Not from all the goodies at the back of the room during story sessions! (Cyber calories DO NOT go to your hips!) You may have noticed the construction cones up around the library parcel and some terrain disruption. Well, we have plans and they are underway. See this excerpt from the Press Release to learn more:
West of Ireland Library and Cultural Center Grows Into Its Name
West of Ireland, Second Life – As the second anniversary of the dedication of the West of Ireland (WOI) Library and Cultural Center approaches, the Library announces that it has “broken prim” on a building project that will continue its signature architecture while expanding the space available for library services and programs almost three fold.
“This is an exciting time for us,” said WOI Librarian Derry McMahon, “Our story program has grown tremendously since we began in the spring of 2008.” The West of Ireland Library offers live presentations of literary works, engaging residents directly in literature from a variety of eras and spanning a wide diversity of genres and styles. A recent poll showed that nearly 100% of guests attending the library’s six to eight weekly events pursued some kind of secondary activity as a result, whether buying a book, exploring related titles, or further investigating a topic of interest. “Stories of all kinds are the firm core of our program – we bring great literature to life in Second Life,” continued McMahon. Audiences have grown steadily over the past year with a current average that is twice what it was for the same period a year previous.
Inspired by this success, the Library has been exploring ways to create immediate connections for library guests through in-world links to supportive resources. The Library is additionally seizing the opportunity to connect more effectively with landmarks within the WOI estate which contains many virtual creations of real-life Irish cultural sites. “This is a great opportunity to grow more fully into our name.” said WOI Storyteller Aoife Lorefield, emphasizing the cultural aspect of what the Library supports. The new area of the Library will include linked workstations to internet resources, expanded exhibit areas, and additional features which will promote Ireland’s rich history and heritage.
“We want to provide varied opportunities for our guests to explore literature, Irish culture, and to enjoy our diverse programs in a variety of settings.” added McMahon. Growing library programs such as the open mic sessions hosted by Lorefield, and sessions featuring published authors discussing their work will be able to choose from a number of casual settings in within the library to utilize different open environments. The new addition also holds the potential to be used as a comfortable workshop setting.
“The real miracle,” continued McMahon,” is that we will accomplish this expansion without significantly changing the ground level profile of the original library build.” The Library Staff has created a subterranean expansion that is remarkably full of light, space, interacts with the natural terrain around it, and connects seamlessly with Cunningham Docherty's original 2008 design.
“I love it!” said West of Ireland’s CEO Sioban McMahon, "It's bright, organic, and draws inspiration from Celtic cultural linkages to both stone and water. The direction the staff is taking the features they provide is an excellent compliment with where we are trying to take the entire estate: appealing activities for folks that are fun and interesting, balanced with cultural relevance. SL is such a great tool for engaging folks in culture and literature in ways they might not be able to in the real world. This is really exciting.”
The WOI Library Staff invite interested residents and library fans to join them in dedicating the new area on Sunday, March 21st during the final day of the WOI Estate’s annual Festival of Saint Patrick. March 21 is also the second anniversary of the original library’s dedication. Festivities will begin at 2pm SLT with a program celebrating the power of stories and storytelling. At 4pm SLT, following the program’s conclusion, guests will be invited to dance throughout the library to music provided by one of West of Ireland’s popular DJs.
SAVE THE DATE: MARCH 21ST beginning at 2pm!