Libraries in Cork city and county are set to benefit from €300,000 in Government funding, Fine Gael’s Minister Coveney has stated.
“This represents an unprecedented Government investment in our public libraries. The funding will allow for the modernisation of our library service and for the extension of library opening hours. Cork city libraries will benefit from €165k from government and €55k from Cork City Council, totalling €220k, while Cork County will receive €54k from government matched by €18k from Cork County Council to ensure a total investment of €72k. This investment package comprises of from the Department of Rural and Community Development, supplemented by additional funding of from local authorities totalling €300,000.
This news is particularly welcome given that Cork people are the most frequent visitors to libraries in the country, with the average person visiting Cork’s libraries more than 6 times last year. This compares with an average of 3.61 visits per year across the country’s other councils according to the local authority watchdog, the National Oversight & Audit Commission (NOAC).
“Here in Cork this investment will enable the implementation of our new public library strategy which will be launched early next year and which will be focused on modernising the public library service and enhancing the range and quality of services available to users.
“It’s an ambitious strategy which is aimed at increasing library membership and usage of our public libraries.This programme of funding demonstrates Fine Gaels continued commitment to the public library service over the coming five-year period of the strategy.”
Rural and Community Development Minister Ring said: ““This is an exciting time for the public library service and for library staff. The roll out of self-service technology in our libraries will free up librarians who can use their expertise to assist library users and direct people to the many excellent services offered by the libraries.
“The public library service has recently introduced a single library management system and a national distribution service that provides branch to branch collection and delivery.
“Through this ground-breaking new lending service there is access to 15 million items for all library users in Ireland and nationwide access to all library services.”