· Libraries to use funding to reach out to older people, marginalised and disadvantaged groups
· Digital apps to assist people with low literacy levels, learning differences, visual or hearing impairments.
· Ministers praise role played by libraries during Covid-19 Pandemic
Older people, families with low literacy skills and disadvantaged and marginalised groups are to benefit from a funding package of €713,500 that will be channelled through the country’s libraries.
Some €650,000 will be provided from the 2020 Dormant Accounts Action Plan and €63,500 will be provided from Libraries funding, which is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The funding has a specific focus and is aimed at groups such as the elderly, the Traveller Community, those with disabilities and people living in Direct Provision.
Part of the funding will be used to purchase literacy/numeracy digital skills licences/apps to assist people with low literacy levels, learning differences, visual or hearing impairments.
Other examples that the funding will be used for include:
The funding was announced today by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“This funding will have real positive benefits for so many people. I am delighted that this funding has been allocated to libraries across the country. The last few months have been very difficult and any funding which helps our libraries to reach out and engage with communities is most welcome.”
Also welcoming the funding, Minister O’Brien said:
“I am delighted to approve these projects under the 2020 Dormant Accounts Action Plan. The projects are diverse in nature and target a multiplicity of groups including Travellers, New Irish, residents of Direct Provision Centres, the elderly who have experienced isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, autism, deaf and blind communities, and people with learning differences such as dyslexia. This funding is building on the excellent projects which were delivered last year and will increase the public library capacity to continue that great work of fostering community well-being and building community cohesion.”
The funding will provide:
(i) €512,626 for events and programmes which reaches out to marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities.
(ii) €180,874 to purchase literacy/numeracy digital skills licences/apps to assist people with low literacy levels, learning differences, visual or hearing impairments.
(iii) €20,000 to carry out a review of library services in prisons and also to develop a ‘Design Thinking’ pilot for libraries.
Minister Humphreys thanked the local authorities and the library staff for their ongoing commitment and support to the public library service.
“The local authorities have supported the library service during what has been an incredibly challenging year and by matching my Department’s funding of €713,500 with €83,722 of their own they have shown their commitment to ensuring that these programmes will have a really positive impact in their communities.”
Minister O’Brien concluded:
“It is great to see the investment in literacy and numeracy digital apps and licences. These can be expensive and very difficult to afford for families who need them. I hope that families, schools and afterschool clubs avail of these and benefit from them.”
Details of the allocation per county is set out in Appendix 1.