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Press Release

Minister Ring officially launches new ‘state-of-the-art’ ICT upgrades in public libraries across the country

Published: 8 May 2019
From: Department of Rural and Community Development

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has today (Wednesday) in Trim Library officially launched ICT upgrades in public libraries across the country, including new Digital Learning Centres, which were funded by his Department and local authorities.

The Minister said:

“I am delighted to officially launch this Digital Learning Centre, one of many funded by my Department across the country. The new technology and facilities will enhance public libraries and the new innovative services they provide.
“I can see first-hand today the real difference the €8m digital services and facilities investment package I announced last year has made – it has transformed our libraries.”

In 2018, Minister Ring approved an €8 million investment package for digital services and facilities in public libraries. It seeks to establish the library as not only a community hub but also an important enabler of digital services and facilitator of digital skills development. This significant investment is the first step towards realising this aim.

The funding includes the provision of:

  • iPads/tablets/smart devices/Bouncepadfor users and for staff to assist users
  • computers and workstations including image deployment technology
  • software to support design, gaming and coding
  • meeting space technology
  • podcasting equipment and workstations
  • mobile LCD screens with audio
  • interactive whiteboards
  • digital Learning Suites
  • magic Tables (Tovertafel)
  • hublets

He continued:

“I am delighted to see innovative technology such as Magic Tables and Hublets being used by local groups including the Meath branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. St Michaels Autism Unit and Meath ARCH Club.
“The transformation of the digital services in libraries is another step towards realising the aims of the public library strategy Our Public Libraries 2022– Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities which seeks to establish the library as not only a community hub but also an important enabler of digital services and facilitator of digital skills development.”

The Minister also thanked the local authorities and the library staff for their ongoing commitment, passion and enthusiasm and support to the public library service.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Our Public Libraries 2022: Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities

The new public library strategy Our Public Libraries 2022: Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities was launched in 2018 and 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 contains three Strategic Programmes that reflect the core functions of the public library service:

  • Reading and Literacy
  • Information and Learning
  • Community and Culture

The Information and Learning Strategic Programme will be delivered using enablers such as:

  • infrastructure and services with a focus on fit-for-purpose buildings and ICT capacity
  • high-quality collections based on the latest technology and innovative solutions
  • continued investment to support infrastructure, ICT, staffing and collections development