The Dublin City Library @ Parnell Square Cultural Quarter

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Brochure[Update: 24th January 2014]

City launches details of Parnell Square Cultural Quarter - a new Cultural District for Dublin City

In early April 2013, Dublin’s Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí announced a vision of a new cultural quarter for Dublin city – Parnell Square. A new City Library will be built beside the existing world-class Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and will offer a range of creative, participative and educational experiences, united by a trinity of themes, Learn, Create and Participate. A civic plaza will connect the new City Library and cultural facilities, creating a new public space that those who live, work and visit Dublin can use, engage with and enjoy in the heart of the city.

Dublin City Council has launched a new website at to promote the City Library and new cultural facilities at Parnell Square Cultural Quarter. It will provide a forum for engagement for all those with an interest in the project. As well as providing a platform for Dublin City Council to tell people about the project, in words, images, and video, the site will facilitate consultations and online discussions about the project, so that Dubliners can help shape the future of the Square. features stories and photo galleries related to Parnell Square’s social and architectural history, as well as its connection to many of the nation’s major events and celebrations.

Read about or watch a film of the conversations we held last summer during the first phase of consultation at

These conversations identified a desire for a vibrant and modern Square, bustling with quirky, family-friendly spaces full of informal and spontaneous creative activity, with a sense of the inside spilling outside to the public realm being seen as the key to the success of the development. It should be a place which reflects modern Irish identity, along with the heritage of the area. There were many ideas and suggestions for use of cultural space in the new library complex and integrated buildings.

As the project to develop the new City Library and cultural facilities progresses, the website will be updated with news of that progress, highlighting news and events, and connecting strongly with a social media presence.

Read the full City Council Press Release...


What is the Dublin City Library?

The Dublin City Library will be a new kind of city library for the citizens of Dublin. A window on the world of knowledge and culture, a centre of learning and literature, a commune of research and reading and a hub of ideas and creativity.

Where will it be?

The City Library will be at the heart of a new Civic Cultural Quarter at Parnell Square, accommodated on the site of the former Coláiste Mhuire. Together with the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, it will anchor a cluster of new and existing cultural facilities on the square all connected by a new civic plaza.

A story house where people can learn and create.

What has been done?
Preparations are well under way. The project will involve widespread consultation with citizens and stakeholders. The library brief is evolving and the process to select a design team will commence soon.

View the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter promotion video:

What will it be like?

It will be a meeting place for both people and ideas – a story house. It will be a place that is always ready to change, dynamic and constantly evolving, a library of temporary spaces, meeting spaces, different places. It will imbue in its users a sense of ownership and a sense that they, the citizens, will develop the library through the events that happen there.

Total Space 8,000 sqm
Total no. of Reader Seats 800

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Large welcome foyer

Capable of hosting small events and performances – an impromptu space for discourse and debate.

Lending and reference library

Items for loan and reference in multiple formats, places to read, to work, to think.

Conference and exhibition spaces

For large and small events, bookable by the community.

Innovation Hub

Supporting the business and enterprise needs of the city with collections, on-line resources and spaces to work and collaborate.

Digital media and music library

Offering a blend of physical and digital resources, listening, downloading and creating facilities.


A literature centre, displaying, interpreting and showcasing Dublin's unique literary heritage. Offering creative spaces,performances and opportunities for residencies.

Learning Suite

Comprising a digital media hub and on-line learning centre, it will offer access to the library's digital collections and access to many learning opportunities.

Children's and Young Adult's Library

Learning, reading, activity and recreational spaces for creating music, theatre, art, media and gaming.


The Place: Parnell Square

This location was chosen for several reasons. The most successful international libraries are beside dense residential zones, are located at urban hubs, close to public transport, and have adequate outdoor public space associated with them. They are transparent and open, capable of engaging their communities. Street level access to the library is key, helping to promote interaction between outside and inside.

The vision for the Dublin City Library is to be an icon of literature and learning for all.

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The City Library – General Information

  • Part of 11,500 sqm of cultural space at the new Cultural Quarter on Parnell Square 
  • 8,000 sq.m. of the library of the future 
  • Together with the Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane it will enhance and extend the civic cultural offer at Parnell Square 
  • Expected 3,000 visitors a day – 1 million visitors a year 
  • A StoryHouse – celebrating Dublin’s place as a UNESCO City of Literature 
  • A vibrant and versatile meeting place bursting with activity 
  • Lots of interesting things to borrow in many different formats 
  • Events, performances, readings, exhibitions, something for everyone – a place to be – THE place to be 
  • 7-day opening.

Download the Dublin City Library Brochure (pdf, 1.98mb)

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