Friday 2 October 2020

Irish public libraries receive €3m to adapt to Covid19

Earlier this week, Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Developmenthas announced funding of €3 million to support a Small Scale Capital Works Programme in public libraries.

The Department funding will be matched by local authorities to the value of €1.1 million, providing a total investment of almost €4.1million.

This funding will provide each Library Authority in the Republic of Ireland with €100,000 for their proposed works, which range from the installation of study pods and Perspex screens and traffic control technology to the building of extensions, all of which will make a real difference to the library buildings as they adapt to new public health guidelines.

"These works will strengthen the library’s position as a community hub and ensure that it is a modern, well-equipped and comfortable facility that will leave a positive legacy for years to come," Minister Humphreys saidl "In total, 113 libraries will be upgraded with this funding.”

Works will commence in the libraries over the coming weeks and will be completed by end 2020/early 2021.

By the end of September, 262 out of 327 Libraries Ireland branches had reopened following the national Lockdown. Of those, 234 are providing a browsing service, either by appointment or drop-in, and the remainder are providing a ‘Contact and Collect’ service for members who do not wish to enter the premises. Some of the smaller branches may not open for browsing until the social distancing requirements are reduced as they are small in size e.g. a room in a community centre and have only one member of staff assigned to them. However, libraries continue to provide their online services which includes eBooks, eAudiobooks, newspapers, magazines and eLearning courses.