Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes over €3m in funding for 46 library facilities

26th July, 2022

  • Announcement made as World Library Congress takes place in Dublin
  • Investment to deliver longer open hours in 17 library branches across the country 

Minister Joe O’Brien, TD at the Department of Rural and Community Development, has welcomed an investment of over €3.1 million in 46 library branches across the country.

Some €2.2 million in funding will be provided to roll-out the ‘My Open Library’ initiative in a further 17 branches – which will allow people to access their local library outside of normal opening hours.

Among the library facilities to benefit include Blanchardstown and Malahide in Dublin.

And a further €900,000 will be invested in enhancing the equipment in a further 29 branches that already have the ‘My Open Library’ service in place

The announcement was made as the World Library Congress opens in Dublin. The event is hosting approximately 1700 delegates from 100 countries.

Welcoming the €3.1 million investment, Minister O’Brien said:

My Department is pleased to support 46 library branches right across the country with an investment of €3.1 million.  I am delighted to see that funding has been approved for Malahide Library of €117,900 towards a project costing €131,000 overall.

“This funding will see the roll-out of the ‘My Open Library’ initiative in Malahide and a further 16 branches – ensuring thousands more members can access their local library outside of normal opening hours.

“This initiative allows people to avail of self-service library services between the hours of 8am and 10pm, seven days per week.

“And I’m also pleased that funding has been made available to further improve facilities in 29 branches that have already embraced the ‘My Open Library’ initiative.”

Minister O’Brien continued:

“Our libraries provide such essential services to people, both young and old, and this funding will give so many more people greater access to their local branch.

“It reflects the fact too that some people like to visit their library early in the morning or late in the evening due to work commitments.

“I’m delighted that we are in a position to roll the initiative out in these additional branches.”

– ENDS – 

Notes to Editor:

My Open Library

The public library strategy, ‘Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities’, was launched in June 2018.  The strategy seeks to improve access, use and visibility of the library as a community hub and develop it as a focal point for community development.  To this end, a key action in the strategy is to extend opening hours, expand the My Open Library service and to ensure that each library provides optimum staffed service.

The service offers extended opening hours, providing library access to members from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days per year.  It complements regular staffed hours and ensures optimum delivery of the service, support for customers, community engagement and the development of programming activities. The staffed hours, combined with the extended My Open Library hours, allows library members to access the library at times that suit them, particularly those who may not be able to access their library during regular staffed times.

The provision of the self-service activities during My Open Library hours includes, but is not limited to:

  • stock issue and return,
  • internet usage on PC and Wi-Fi for use on own device,
  • printing, photocopying and scanning facilities,
  • studying and reading spaces,
  • meeting space, and
  • access to toilet facilities.

The My Open Library initiative was introduced on a ‘proof of concept’ or initial pilot basis in Banagher, Tullamore and Tubbercurry libraries in 2014. The My Open Library service will be operational in 34 libraries (appendix 1) when the service resumes following the introduction of the new Library Management System Spydus.

 

Local Library in Dublin Fingal to receive funding:

Branch Library Authority Project cost DRCD Funding

 

Malahide                      Fingal County Council                   €131,000                €117,900