Omagh Library manager speaks of 'great honour' at being named BEM recipient

William Smith


William Smith


THE branch manager of Omagh Library has said it is a "great honour" to be included on the New Year Honours List 2022.

Mr Edwin Johnston is to receive a BEM for services to public libraries within his role as branch manager of the local library in Omagh.

Describing the honour as a "great surprise", Mr Johnston said it is reflective of the hard work that his team of staff at the library do day in, day out.

Mr Johnston lives in Omagh with wife Christine, who also works in Library services, and couple have two grown up children, Christopher and Edwina, who are both doctors.

Mr Johnston is an elder of First Omagh Presbyterian Church, and a former president of Omagh Lawn Tennis Club.

Speaking on the honour, Mr Johnston said: "It came as a great surprise and no idea I was in line for this! Nonetheless, it was a great honour to get it it, and I would like to think its on behalf of all the staff at library, who do an immense amount of work for everyone.

"While it's in my name, it's reflective of work the whole staff do in the library. It's a great honour for us all."

According to Mr Johnston, the daily running of the local library is very busy, with the facility catering for people of all ages from the community.

"The job includes ensuring the general smooth running of the library each day, managing staff, organising events for all ages, and developing the services the library offers.

"Over the years I have seen an immense change in services we provide, from more online stuff and IT access, as well as moving into a new phase with an out of hours service, which is a whole new development for us all.

"Myself and the staff are proud to ensure that the library is a welcoming environment for everyone, and a neutral space within the community that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.

"We offer services for all ages and work with community groups in the area. It really is an invaluable resource, for example when it comes to providing IT services for those who may not have access at home. We strive to ensure the range of services we provide are of the highest possible quality."

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