An €8m investment package for libraries nationwide, which aims to enhance ICT infrastructure, create new meeting spaces with state-of-the-art technology and provide dedicated digital learning suites, has been approved by the Minister for Rural and Community Development.
“The new facilities and services will attract new users of all ages to our public libraries,” noted Michael Ring TD, and he commended the local authorities for recognising the invaluable service the libraries provide and for committing €2m to the investment package. The other €6m in funding has been directly provided by his department.
The funding includes the provision of:
- iPads/tablets/smart devices for users and for staff to assist users
- Computers and workstations
- Meeting space technology
- Podcasting equipment and workstations
- Mobile LCD screens with audio
- Interactive whiteboards
- Digital training suites
- Maker space equipment
Fingal Libraries, has greatly benefited from the investment package, having secured €711,000 to upgrade and improve ICT and digital services throughout its network; €476,000 came from the Department (the second highest grant awarded to a local authority), and €235,000 from Fingal County Council itself.
County Librarian Betty Boardman, said: “This funding will assist us in continuing to provide high quality, welcoming, accessible spaces, which meet the needs of library users, and to reinforce the position of libraries in the community as key points of access to information technology and digital services.”
These are two of the seven key objectives contained in Fingal’s Development Plan published earlier this year, which includes Workforce, Capital and Infrastructure, Collections and Resources, Programming of Events and Activities, Technology, Marketing and Communications and Collaboration and Partnerships.