Libraries to receive over €700,000 to help reach marginalised groups

Galway daily news Funding awarded for 11 library support projects in Galway

Ireland’s libraries have been awarded €713,000 in funding to help people who are older or marginalised, or have a disability, to make greater use of their services.

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 will be used for programmes aimed at groups elderly, the Traveller Community, those with disabilities and people living in Direct Provision.

Some examples given of the programmes it will support include classes for older people to learn to use WhatsApp or Zoom, musical sessions for young members of the Traveller community, workshops in coding and robotics for children from DEIS schools, and initiatives aimed at members of the Deaf and Blind Community and people with disabilities.

“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,” Minister Heather Humphreys said.

“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.”

The funding has been divided into three main categories:

  • €512,626 for events and programmes which reaches out to marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities.
  • €180,874 to purchase literacy/numeracy digital skills licences/apps to assist people with low literacy levels, learning differences, visual or hearing impairments.
  • €20,000 to carry out a review of library services in prisons and also to develop a ‘Design Thinking’ pilot for libraries.

Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien added that “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.”