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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

National Library of Ireland allocated €10m investment

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, of the development of a major new capital investment plan for the Library's historic Kildare Street premises. The investment will be delivered as a phased programme of works in partnership with the Office of Public Works.

The Minister has earmarked an allocation of €10 million to fund the first phase of the redevelopment works.

The redevelopment will address the following key areas for the NLI:
  • Refurbishment of the 1890s building to meet modern standards for universal access, fire prevention, health and safety, circulation, security, mechanical and electrical services, and environmental sustainability;
  • Upgrading and enhancement of visitor and reader facilities;
  • Upgrading the conditions in which heritage collections are kept;
  • Improvement of both access and security;
  • Upgrading and rationalisation of operational areas; and
  • Provision of better linkages throughout the Library’s extended buildings complex.

Making the announcement Minister Humphreys said: "The National Library currently holds a significant amount of its collection in an historic Victorian era building, which is badly in need of upgrading and modernisation. So I am delighted that, thanks to the economic recovery, we are now in a position to invest in this vital cultural institution and address decades of under-investment in the National Library.

“This investment will help transform the Library into a world class facility for the storage and display of some of our most important historical documents. Today's announcement will not only allow the Library to deliver on its core objectives of protecting and conserving the national collection, it will also enable it to develop its place as a venue for research, culture, learning and tourism.

“The redevelopment will upgrade existing storage facilities, address fire safety concerns, improve visitor areas and offer new reader spaces and experiences which will accommodate 21st century digital engagement as well as traditional readers."

Commenting on the announcement, Director of the National Library of Ireland Dr Sandra Collins said: “The Library’s challenges have been well documented and over recent years the Library has been very resilient in the face of limited resources and funding reductions. Today’s announcement will now enable the Library to develop its plans to become an exemplary 21st century modern library for our historic and unparalleled collections, and to be a living space for collaboration, research and culture – for scholars, the public and visitors from across the world and will affirm the Library’s position at the heart of Ireland’s culture, learning and society now and for many years to come.”