Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, have announced €700,000 in funding for library supports.
The funding, under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan, is designed to assist libraries in reaching out to older people, children from disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities and other marginalised groups.
This year, a number of libraries submitted projects designed to reach out to Ukrainian families who are living in Ireland after fleeing the war.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said, “I am delighted to announce €700,000 in funding to libraries across the country. The sort of innovative projects that are being funded under this initiative will create a more welcoming and engaging library experience for thousands of people. They will put our libraries at the forefront of reaching out to all members of the local community in which they serve. I would really encourage families to look at the projects being funding in their own county. Comic Book Clubs for Children with Dyslexia, Online in No Time Courses for older citizens, and Sign Language Storytime are just a few examples of the great supports this funding will allow our libraries across the country to host. While this funding is small in nature, it will have a big impact in terms of improving people’s lives. I want to pay tribute and thank all our library staff, who play such an important role in cities, towns and villages right across the country.”
Examples of some of the successful projects are:
- Dun Laoghaire – Wraparound Service for Ukrainians – Family art therapy sessions, sensory storytime, and mindfulness. Family kite-making workshops, family build a bear teddy making workshops, family puppet shows, family yoga workshops, talks for parents from a native-speaking child psychologist on settling in to a new community and tips for adjusting to their new surroundings – €15,000
- Galway – Lego Play4All – LEGO play therapy is a relatively new field focused on helping children develop communication & social skills through LEGO play. Early studies have shown positive impacts for the children involved and it has grown in popularity among play therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists and more. Facilitated by Bricks4Kidz – €8,125
- Carlow – Sensory Wall & Sensory Toys – Creation of a sensory wall with additional toys to support the children and parents with development of skills including gross motor, fine motor, communication & visual perception skills – €5,150
- Cavan – Build a Bodhrán – 12-18 year olds from DEIS schools will work with a master bodhrán player in assembling a drum from scratch and learn playing techniques along the way – €7,898
- Limerick – Outreach to Men’s/Women’s Sheds – Tailored workshops, seminars and events on wellbeing, staying active, digital literacy, book groups and writer visits, handcraft and artwork workshops to various shed groups around the county – €7,992
- Louth – Strum4Fun – The aim is to provide this target group with a space to get together, meet others and enjoy the musical activities of the course. This course will be tailored to the needs of the adults attending and will promote positivity and community engagement – €2,760.
Commenting on the funding, Minister O’Brien said, “I am delighted to approve these projects under the 2022 Dormant Accounts Action Plan. The projects are diverse in nature and target a multiplicity of groups including the Traveller community, Ukrainians displaced by war, residents of Direct Provision Centres and the elderly. There is also funding for groups working to provide autism supports, and groups working with hearing and visually impaired communities, prisoners and people with learning differences such as dyslexia. This funding package will build on the excellent projects which have been delivered over the past three years and also help our public libraries to continue to foster community well-being and build community cohesion in their role as community hubs.”
The funding will provide:
- €400,000 for events and programmes which reach out to marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities.
- €150,000 for the provision of digital equity and sensory equipment which will improve accessibility to public library services for people with a disability and those with sensory needs, autism, or older members of our community.
- €150,000 for the provision of literacy supports in tandem with the national Right to Read Programme such as literacy, numeracy, digital skills licences.
Minister O’Brien added, “I am particularly pleased that this funding supports the installation of equipment in public libraries which will improve accessibility for people with a disability, sensory needs, autism, and older members of our community. I also welcome the many initiatives that are being delivered to support the Ukrainian community who have arrived here over the past few months. Our public libraries are welcoming and inclusive spaces and it is important that everybody can avail of the services that they provide.”