Librarian and tireless charity worker rewarded with BEM

Deidre Breen.  INLM2514-409
Deidre Breen. INLM2514-409

Deirdre Breen has received a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for 36 years’ service to Lurgan Library as well as her fundraising efforts for Southern Area Hospice.

The branch manager told the ‘MAIL’: “I am conscious that such an honour would not have been possible without the help and expertise of my many colleagues whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the past 36 years as well as the support of the Friends of Southern Area Hospice committee and the local community.”

Deirdre’s passion and commitment for the library, the services it provides and the needs of the community are always at the forefront of everything she does. She has served generations as they learn to read, discover books and investigate new technology.

Recalling her earliest memories of reading, she said: “I have always loved books and inherited my love of reading from both my parents who were avid readers. My earliest memory of reading was sitting on my father’s knee while he read me a story.

“I love The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and re-read it many times. My favourite genre of books is thrillers and I don’t have one particular book but Guilt by Association by Susan Sloan and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini stand out.”

Addressing the biggest changes to the library over the last 36 years, she commented: “The introduction of the RFID Self Service Kiosks is a lot different to the old Brown issue system when people were given six paper cards to borrow books. Our roles have evolved and the library is more accessible offering a wider range of services and resources.”

Deirdre remembered her first day in the library. “I was the youngest member of staff and was a bit intimidated by the job,” she said. “However after a few months I settled in and loved helping out with class visits and summer activities with the kids.

She continued: “The last author to visit Lurgan Library was Brian McGilloway and I really enjoyed listening to Brian tell us all about himself and his book characters. The most popular children’s author to visit has to be Julia Donaldson.”