€22m Library Capital Investment Programme for 16 projects unveiled
09 February 2016
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly has announced the roll-out of a new Library Capital Investment Programme for the period 2016-2021. The programme will see a contribution of €22 million by the department in 16 library capital developments and the mainstreaming of the Open Libraries initiative.
The minister said he was “delighted to be in a position to announce the new round of investment in libraries, which is one of the key pillars of ‘Opportunities for All: A Strategy for Public Libraries’, the department’s public library policy document”. He said “the public purse still faces significant challenges, but it is a measure of our commitment to securing a good and consistent standard of library infrastructure across all local authority areas that I can make an announcement of this scale today”.
As key element of the investment programme is the allocation of €2.3 million for the mainstream roll-out of the department’s Open Libraries initiative, which will offer seven-day opening from 8am–10pm.
The minister highlighted the importance of Open Libraries describing it as “an exciting development that will improve the link between communities and a key local authority service, the local library. It represents a commitment to good quality library services by both central and local government. Based on the feedback from the Open Library pilots and the degree of interest from local authorities in rolling out the initiative further, I believe it is an extension of the library service that will prove hugely popular and successful in the years to come”.
Under the programme, €2.75 million has been secured for 2016 for investment in library development and refurbishment, the continued roll-out of Open Libraries and the purchase of mobile libraries. This represents an increase of €1.5 million on the 2015 capital allocation for libraries. The allocation will increase to €3.75 million for each remaining year of the programme to 2021. Projects will commence and come to conclusion at different stages over the lifetime of the programme.
Currently, three Open Libraries pilots offer seven-day opening from 8am–10pm. Staffing levels and staffed hours remain unchanged, while the extended hours are unstaffed. Pending completion of a review of the pilot phase, Open Libraries will be rolled-out on an incremental basis across the library system. A total of €2.3 million is earmarked for investment in Open Libraries over the period of the programme. In addition, the operation of libraries on an Open Library basis will be a condition of funding provided under the Library Capital Investment Programme.
Programme of Investment
|Local Authority||Library Project||DECLG Allocation|
|Open Libraries||€2.3 million|
|Dublin City||Kevin Street||€1 million|
|Wicklow||Wicklow Town||€1 million|
|Sth. Co. Dublin||North Clondalkin||€1 million|
|Kilkenny||Kilkenny City||€2.45 million|
|Monaghan||Monaghan Town||€1 million|
|Limerick||Limerick City||€2 million|
|Tipperary||Schools Mobile Library||€0.1 million|
|Wexford||Mobile Library||€0.25 million|
|Kerry||Mobile Library||€0.25 million|