Library Facts and Sights to Look out For

Season’s greetings Maynoothians…. Exam season that is.

Break out the six pack of Aldi’s Red Thunder and stay up till the Libraries extended hours of 2am to revise as much as possible. Also, important PSA folks Starbucks will be open till midnight the whole season. Since students will be making the library practically their temporary home the over the next three weeks. We at MU Times thought it be an opportune time to inform you about some interesting facts and spots to look out for when you take those study breaks.

Starting with the name. Know why we named it after the late Pope John Paul II? This is due to him blessing the foundation stone of the library during his visit to Maynooth on 1 October, 1979.

Ever wonder the purpose of the front revolving door? It isn’t there just to look cool. It keeps in the heat. Notice how freezing it is when you open the emergency exit door. The revolving door also keeps out the bunnies and squirrels from getting in.

You may recall in Maynooth Hide out and Hang outs article about the oddly placed “No Cycling Sign” that was left near the elevator, also on the back wall of this area. “It is a commissioned piece of art. Each painting is a portrait of people who have influenced the artist. There are 26 because they are painted onto a set of old encyclopaedia Britanicas” – said by member of library staff. It is known that not all 26 have been identified. If you do please tell us at MU Times!. Some of these include Virginia Wolfe and Rosa parks.  The stone Pope John Paul II blessed can also be found in this area.

If you weren’t already aware the plants in the stairwell are real and are watered by rain travelling through piping to save water/energy. Sure puts our rain to efficient use.

On the note of utilities, the heating is self-regulatory through a series of vents in the awning that open and close based on the room’s temperature.

When you were upstairs ever wonder what the purpose of the wooden panels are? Simply to prevent the glare of the sun.


Did you know the roof of the library is seeded? Great place to play football….just kidding. There is also a Hawk kite to scare off birds from getting to it.

The new part of the library is 2.5 times the size of the old library which was only designed for a maximum student population of 2000. Good thing we have the extension since our population is about 11,000!

If you dare to venture into the old part of the library know that one floor on the old part of the building is officially named the American Floor. This is in honour of the donations of funding received from the US.   Also in this elder part of the library has 5.5 miles of bookshelves and 250,000 volumes.

Overall the library has cost about 20 Million Euro to build.

So now you know some more facts about the library and some sights to look out for when you want to procrastinate study a bit. We wish you all the best in exams and see you in the library.