Cork City Libraries are set to benefit from a €45,000 grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund, a fund designed to support programmes that enhance the development of economically or socially marginalised persons and those with disabilities.
Cork City Library’s LitBit – Steps to Literacy and Inclusion programme will receive the funding boost. LitBit is a multi-strand project, which aims to enhance lifelong learning, social inclusion and community participation, as well as providing literacy supports, including sensory and digital literacy. The activities under LitBit are aimed at a variety of groups including migrant families and families in direct provision, people in disadvantaged areas of the city, the homeless, people with mild to profound intellectual disabilities and people with autism.
The projects that come under LitBit are diverse; among them, one will produce a collection of children’s stories, poems and rhymes compiled and created by migrant families, in association with Cork City of Sanctuary partners; another involves storytelling sessions for intellectually disabled children and adults, which will focus on developing sensory literacy with the assistance of a creative facilitator. Another project will work with clients of FOCUS Ireland, hosting creative writing workshops exploring the life experiences of those who are or have been homeless. The resultant book, entitled “Home, More or Less” will feature at Cork World Book Fest 2020. Other projects focus on developing early literacy skills in babies and toddlers, running basic coding classes for adults in disadvantaged areas and continuing the established “Conversation Cafe”, which brings together people from all walks of life in libraries to talk and share ideas, fostering inclusion and sharing of culture.
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. John Sheehan said: “I am delighted that Cork City Libraries are to benefit from the grant to build on their work in making libraries more accessible to a wide variety of groups who experience different challenges daily. The programmes that the Library Service offers reach out to the different individuals and groups and it is very encouraging to see those initiatives supported.”
City Librarian Liam Ronayne added: “This is a fantastic boost for us. We’ve been gradually developing our social and cultural inclusion programmes in recent years, but with this funding we will see a step change in provision, all round the New City.”