The Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring TD, recently announced a Government investment in public libraries of €3.75 million from the Department of Rural and Community Development, supplemented by approximately €1.25 million from local authorities for public libraries. The funding will allow for investment in technology, literacy services and business and employment support.
Wexford County Council’s share of the funding amounts to €201,193 - the fifth highest of the 29 local authority allocations announced. Wexford County Council will contribute match funding of €67,064 towards the overall investment.
County Librarian at Wexford County Council Ms. Eileen Morrissey welcomed the recent announcement. “This game changing investment in our public libraries will enable full implementation of self-service technology in our libraries” said Ms. Morrissey. “Other services enabled by this funding include literacy aids for children and the provision of hot desk facilities for business people and job seekers.”
Ms. Morrissey continued: “This is all being done in an effort to increase membership and usage of our libraries. Self-service technology has been in use in our libraries in County Wexford since 2012 and is very successful. It frees up library staff who can use their expertise to assist library users and direct people to the many excellent services offered by the libraries.”
Our recently introduced library management system now provides branch to branch collection and delivery, which means our members have access to 15 million items and nationwide access to all library services. For example, someone can go to any one of their local libraries in County Wexford and if the book they’re looking for is not available, it can be brought in from another library elsewhere in the country in a matter of days.”
This investment will enable the implementation of Wexford County Council’s new public library strategy which will be launched early next year and which will be focused on modernising Wexford’s public library service and enhancing the range and quality of services available to users. The ambitious strategy is aimed at increasing library membership and usage of the many excellent facilities and services currently available at the county’s five public libraries and mobile library facilities.