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Rathmines library is a three-storey Carnegie Library built in 1913. The branch library is located on the ground floor; the reference room and exhibition space are located on the first floor.

Early photograph of Rathmines Library from the National Library of Ireland's  collection click here.

The Baroque style façade is composed of Arklow brick walls with terracotta dressings. The entrance is flanked by two-storey high Ionic columns. A large, stained glass window depicting an allegory of literature is located above the entrance. A ventilating cupola is located on the centre of the roof. Large Venetian windows provide light to the ground floor. The interior retains a fine staircase to the first floor which divides into two parallel flights.

Note: Population is for suburban area

Library Details
Local Authority Name Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive
Library Rathmines
Date Opened 24 October 1913
Contact Details
Address 157 Lower Rathmines Road
County Dublin 6
Telephone 01 4973539
Locality & Services
Type of Service Branch library
Type of Building Purpose-built library
Description of Locality Residential area
Urban Population 36096
Stand Alone Facility Yes
Size & Costs
Number of Floors 3
Size (m2) 654
Funding Sources Local Authority
Features & Facilities
Special Features Architectural features
Accessibility Assistive technology
Induction loop
Special Facilities Exhibition area
Learning space
Literacy material
Meeting room/community space
Self-issue facilities
Internet Access 6 terminals
Wi-Fi Yes
Printing No
Photocopying No
  1. Irish Carnegie Libraries /  Brendan Grimes, p224-227 
  2. 'Carnegie Libraries in Ireland’ Brendan Grimes in The University of the People: Celebrating Ireland’s Public Libraries. The Thomas Davis Lectures 2002, pp30-41
  3. A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland, 1837-1921 / Jeremy Williams, 1994, p.190
  4. Table 06: Population and Area of each Province, County, City, urban area and rural area and Electoral Division, 2002 and 2006. Central Satistics Office.
  5. Rathmines Public Library
Architect & Design Team
Architect Name Batchelor and Hicks (1913)
County/City Librarian Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive; Dublin City Librarian (1913)
Additional Information

A technical school adjoins the library.

In 2009, the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government provided the sum  €34,000 under the Civic Structures Conservation grant scheme.

The library was completely refurbished in 2011.

The refurbished library is home to a collection of 50,000 items including books, audio and MP3 books, large print, DVDs and reference material for all ages. While books continue to be at the heart of services offered at Rathmines Library, as is befitting of a 21st century library service clients can avail of free Internet access (including wi-fi), computers, study and research facilities, as well as receive advice and guidance from the dedicated and professional staff.

The access improvement works were undertaken as part of Dublin City Council’s Implementation Plan under the Disability Act, and were co-funded by the City Council and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.  Plans for the library were the subject of a wide ranging public consultation process into which the public, staff and key disability stakeholder groups contributed.

Key improvements include: 

  • The provision of a passenger lift
  • A user friendly self-service system
  • Accessible public toilets
  • Upgraded lighting and heating
  • Improved signage
  • New shelving
  • A new accessible public counter

Plus, the library has been fully repainted and many of the original features have been restored to their former glory.

This video was designed by Dublin City Public Libraries as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.

For further information please contact Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive Library Authority


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