A look back at the role of the public library. Library services in county Tipperary and the introduction of mobile library services for rural towns and villages is the subject of 'On the Land' from 1964.

625,000 books are borrowed from Tipperary Libraries each year. Lending patterns indicate that in South Tipperary non-fiction is more popular than fiction, which is more popular in North Tipperary. County librarian Dan Kinane explains that the library plays an important part in community affairs and through education, with over 126 libraries in national schools and 6 in secondary schools.

Dermot Foley, Director of An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council), describes it as a state appointed body with the job of advising the minister on library services throughout the country. The council also advises local authorities on best practice. Foley comments that Tipperary has a reputation for enthusiastic readers, and points to a government initiative to put books in schools as being imperative to creating a culture of reading. Foley also comments on the remarkable work that the mobile library can do in bringing books to people in rural areas. He sees libraries becoming centres for self-education as well as formal education.

Jack Murphy, Chairman of the Libraries Committee, talks about value for money offered by library services.

This episode of 'On the Land' was broadcast on 13 December 1964. The reporter is Ted Nealon.