Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has approved a digital investment package for public libraries across Ireland.
Five libraries in Wexford will be distributing €221,000 between each other, and an additional contribution of €74,000 will be supplemented by Wexford County Council. This brings the total funding available for digital services and facilities to €300,000.
This library funding will be put towards iPads and tablets, computers and workstations; including image deployment technology, software supporting design and coding, podcasting equipment and workstations, 3D printers, interactive whiteboards, Virtual Reality headsets, and more. The investment will create dedicated digital learning suites and provide state of the art technology that hopes to attract a range of users to the country’s public libraries.
The investment is part of a newly-launched national public library strategy ‘Our Public Libraries 2022’. Wexford County Librarian, Eileen Morrissey spoke about the objective of the initiative saying the aim is: ‘to establish public libraries not only as community hubs but also important enablers of digital services and facilitators of digital skills development.’
The strategic programme focuses on removing barriers to access, and improving accessibility to progressive facilities for all communities. Libraries hope to engage disadvantaged, marginalised, and new members of communities through working with local partners to establish the library as a universal resource.