Wexford County Council Press Release – Monday 24 September 2018.
€300,000 Fund to improve access to technology at Wexford Libraries
Improved public access to iPads, design software, 3-D printing and digital training
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has approved a major investment package for digital services and facilities in public libraries across Ireland. The package includes €221,000 for Wexford’s five libraries and will be matched by a contribution from Wexford County Council’s own resources of further €74,000, bringing the total available fund for Wexford libraries to almost €300,000.
The funding will be used towards the cost of
• iPads/tablets/smart devices
• Computers and workstations including image deployment technology
• Software to support design and coding
• Meeting space technology
• Podcasting equipment and workstations
• 3 D printers
• Mobile LCD screens with audio
• Interactive whiteboards
• Digital training suites
• Virtual Reality headsets
Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said: “This investment will enhance ICT infrastructure, create new meeting spaces with state of the art technology and provide dedicated digital learning suites. The new facilities and services will attract new users of all ages to our public libraries.”
County Librarian, Eileen Morrissey welcomed the funding being provided to the Wexford public library network.
“The recently-launched national public library strategy Our Public Libraries 2022– Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities seeks to establish public libraries not only as community hubs but also important enablers of digital services and facilitators of digital skills development” said Eileen. “This welcome funding will help Wexford County Council to achieve these goals by providing state-of-the-art new services, free of charge to all members of our community – services such as IT Training opportunities, new technologies like 3D printing, VR headsets etc. We will also have robotics kits to help library users engage with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Wexford County Council proposes to use some of the funding to improve the meeting space technology currently available at its five libraries and in addition to develop new technologies that will further improve public access to the Council’s vast range of library materials.
Our Public Libraries 2022– Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities
The strategy has three Strategic Programmes that reflect the core functions of the public library service –
• Reading and Literacy,
• Information and Learning, and
• Community and Culture.
It focuses on removing barriers to access and improving accessibility for all. The library service will draw on capacity across the library network to support and facilitate services provided by other sectors, developing existing relationships and building new ones to support delivery of integrated public services.
Libraries will also work with local partners to reach disadvantaged, marginalised and new communities, increasing these communities’ awareness of services available and firmly establishing the library as a resource for all.
The strategy will be delivered using enablers such as: –
• infrastructure and services with a focus on fit-for-purpose buildings and ICT capacity
• library team development with skilled staff taking a more proactive and confident customer-focused approach
• promotion and marketing, at national and local level, to raise visibility and awareness generally, but also to reach out to those communities that may not consider the library a place for them
• high-quality collections based on the latest technology and innovative solutions
• continued investment to support infrastructure, ICT, staffing and collections development.
Media Enquiries to the undersigned welcome.
David Minogue, Head of Communications and Customer Services
Ceannasaí Cumarsáide agus Seirbhísí do Chustaiméirí.
Wexford County Council, County Hall, Carricklawn, Wexford Y35 WY93
Comhairle Contae Loch Garman, An Charrig Leathan, Loch Garman
Tel: 053 919 6000 Mobile: 087 7619555 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org