The Department of Rural and Community Development, through the Dormant Accounts Fund, is making up to €430,000 available to library authorities targeted at marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities to -
provide literacy supports in tandem with the national Right-to-Read Programme,
support digital literacy, digital access and digital capacity,
provide access to educational supports including STEAM, lifelong learning, social inclusion, and community participation supports, and
provide supports in tandem with the Sensory Libraries initiative.
In light of COVID-19 restrictions funding is being tailored to focus on online programming, small group engagement and provision of online literacy and digital skills licences.
The two areas of funding are –
€250,000 for programming (online or in small groups) which reaches out to marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities.
€180,000 to purchase literacy, numeracy, digital skills licences/apps to assist adults or children with low literacy levels, those with learning difficulties or visually/hearing impaired e.g. Lexia; Touch-Type, Read, Spell; Nessy etc.
Proposals may include one or both of the above elements. Proposal forms are attached in appendices 2 (programming) and 3 (licences/apps). Funding should be spent in 2020.
In recognition of the financial position of Library Authorities grant aid has been increased to 90% of the total eligible cost incurred.
In light of the timelines and restricted resources there is no minimum project value.
Collaboration on a regional/cross library authority basis is eligible and encouraged.
€250,000 for Programming
Programming can take the form of workshops, seminars or innovative projects that develop resources to address the needs of marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities. Due to the current restrictions workshops should be online or in the numbers permitted under the COVID-19 restrictions.
€180,000 for Literacy, Numeracy, Digital Skills Licences/Apps
The literacy and digital skills licences should be purchased by the Library Authority for use in the libraries but could also available to lend to schools, Afterschool Clubs and individuals.