Examines the relationship between the library service and the local community in Northern Ireland, using Portadown as a case study. A review of the literature explores complex links between the concepts of social disadvantage and political division and violence, as the library service must function within a community where deep divisions exist. Librarians and local groups from both communities were interviewed individually, and in focus groups, to explore their perceptions of the current role and function of the library service in such a deeply divided town. Amongst the findings was the perception by local people that social and political barriers existed, preventing optimum use of the public library service by all sectors of the community. Furthermore, the emphasis on traditional aspects of library service meant that local groups were circumventing the library service and setting up their own community information provision. Thus, unless the library service could become more fully integrated into the whole community, it would become increasingly marginalised within such a community.