DE LA Salle College is set to welcome bookworms of all ages to the school as it opens its state-of-the-art library facility to the public. Principal Paul Barry said the College is keen to help the community continue their love of reading after the recent closure of the Andersonstown Library, which he described “as a great loss to our community”.

“We wanted to look at trying to fill that gap by rekindling people’s love for a library facility and as our school is already a community hub we thought, why not open the library to the public?” said Principal Barry. “We want to celebrate the joy and importance of reading here at La Salle and by opening our library to the public we are taking the right steps to do that.”

Addressing the packed library, local playwright and guest speaker Owen McCafferty said he couldn’t imagine a world without a library.

“It is incredible that in this area of social deprivation, the powers-that-be deemed it prudent to close such an important pubic resource as a local library. American author and Professor, Isaac Asimov said, ‘By closing libraries, it seems that society has found one more way to destroy itself.’

“Libraries are havens, there are places in the world you can be transported to by a book, and what’s even better is that it’s a free service. The powers-that-be should be building more libraries, not shutting them down.”

Deputy Principal Fiona Kane said it was important for the school to do its best to maintain and expand the cultural integrity of the area.

“We are particularly honoured and delighted to welcome award-winning Belfast born playwright, Owen McCafferty, to our school. Owen is one of the most distinctive and talented writers emerging from Northern Ireland’s theatre scene, where his love of language and his use of what he calls 'Belfast speak' has captured and captivated audiences around the world.”

n La Salle’s library will be open to the public from 3.30pm to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. For more information telephone 02890 508800.