Public Libraries


With over 17 million visits annually, libraries play an important community role as centres of knowledge, information and culture. As a result of ongoing investment in the public library service, quality of life is being is being improved and new opportunities for education, life-long learning, leisure and personal development have been developed through enhanced multimedia and ICT services.

There are 336 branch libraries and 29.5 mobile libraries in Ireland, including a shared cross-border service. You can access local library information via each city or county council website. Alernatively you will find up-to-date contact details for your local library on the library website (link is external), managed by the Local Government Management Agency, Libraries Development, which publishes news and information about libraries in Ireland.

New Public Library Strategy 2018-2022

A new Public Library Strategy is being developed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association and the Local Government Management Agency.  Our ambition is to develop an attractive, vibrant and multi-functional library service as a centre for information, learning, local culture and community. Departmental policy in relation to the development of the library service 2013-2017 is set in the document ‘Opportunities for All: A Strategy for Public Libraries’.

Public Consultation is the final phase of engagement on the development of the new Strategy. It commenced on 8 December 2017 and closes on 1 February 2018. We invite your views on public libraries and library services, you can access the consultation information here.

Funding and Service Development

The current Library capital Investment Programme for the period 2016-2021 was announced on 27 January 2016 by Minister Alan Kelly, T.D.  The programme will build on past programmes and will provide a range of facilities for the local library service, including new and refurbished premises and mobile libraries.  Provision is also made for the phased roll out of the ‘Open Libraries’ initiative as part of the library strategy ‘Opportunities for All’.

Libraries Development

Libraries Development is the national advisor and development agency for public libraries in Ireland. Libraries Development (link is external)was established in 2012 within the Local Government Management Agency and continues the functions of An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, The Library Council. They advise the Department and the Library Authorities on public library development and on library co-operation.