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By Caroline Woodiel (From the McClelland Library’s blog Oct. 2, 2014)

Amongst the red earth colored buildings and palm tree laden skyline, a tall blue and grey castle rises from the center of the city of Phoenix. The warmth of the desert city is briefly suspended as the cool blue Irish limestone draws everyone that passes into the heart of a 12th century Irish castle.

The McClelland Irish Library is the only library of its kind in the Western United States. If it is the only one, you might ask yourself, how much can there possibly be to do? Besides touring the physical building and admiring the hand carved blue Irish limestone, what sets this library apart from any other site worth seeing? Much like the limestone archway that sits watch over the library doors, the library itself is a compacted creation of the Irish community; some old and some new, from different corners of Arizona and the globe. The McClelland Library’s growth and nature of constant movement presents a new area of focus and activity with every visit.

The library houses an immense collection of Irish and Celtic volumes. Three stories allow for a circulating and reference collection in addition to traveling exhibits, permanent museum collections, an archive, and genealogy research centre. From poetry readings, and music composition lectures with sing alongs, to literature discussion groups, and genealogical classes and workshops, the McClelland Library is home to a rhythm of community that calls with open arms. The question isn’t “What can I do?” at the McClelland Irish Library, but “How soon can I come back?”

We hope you will check back here at our blog often, and subscribe, for our updates on: events, book reviews, the Irish community, genealogy, historical perspectives, and literary discussions. Thank you for spending some time with us today, we look forward to getting to know you.

Slán go fóill

Interested in contributing to our blog?  The Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library blog is always looking for cultural pieces!  Items of interest include, recipes, poems, introductions to topics, traditional crafts, traditional music, family history tidbits and tips, book and film reviews, and more! To submit and article for possible inclusion please email your piece to info@azirish.org.  Blog inclusion decisions are subject to review and blog policies of the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library.

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