Major Government investment will be a game changer for our public libraries – Minister Ring

Published 8 November 2017

Govt invests more this year than 3 previous years combined

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, today (Thursday), announced a significant Government investment package for our public libraries.  The funding will allow for the continued modernisation of the library service, enhancing services for library users and paving the way for the launch of the new public library strategy early in 2018.

The investment comprises €3.75 million from the Department of Rural and Community Development and will be supplemented by €1.25 million from local authorities.  This is in addition to €2.75 million of capital funding already provided by Minister Ring’s Department for public libraries this year under the Libraries Capital Investment Programme.

Minister Ring was joined by First Year students from Sandford Park School at Pearse St. Library in Dublin

Speaking at the announcement of the investment at Pearse Street Library in Dublin, Minister Ring said: “This very significant investment in our public libraries will enable the purchase of self-service technology for more than 200 libraries; books to promote literacy for children; and hot desk facilities for business people and job seekers. It is an exciting time for the public library service and for library staff.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to significantly increase our funding for the public library service this year.  This investment will bring funding by my Department for the library service to almost €6.5m in 2017.  I must also commend local authorities who, even at this late stage in the year, will be able to match my Department’s investment with a contribution of €1.25 million.

Minister Ring confirmed his Department’s commitment to the public library service saying, “this funding demonstrates the Government’s and my Department’s continued commitment to the public library service.  Funding will continue under the Libraries Capital Programme next year, with a considerable increase in project activity and funding over the coming three years.

Concluding, the Minister referenced the forthcoming public library strategy: “we will very shortly introduce a new five-year public library strategy.  A key goal of the strategy will be to increase the number of library members and users.  This funding will be an important enabler of actions in the strategy and will help us take a big step towards achieving this goal.”


Note to Editors:

The grant funding will support the following areas:

  • RFID self-service technology. This funding will support the introduction of self-service machines in ‘non-RFID enabled’ libraries, as well as additional machines and the modernisation of existing first-generation machines in the more advanced local authorities.
  • Hot Desk Facilities for Work Matters. Work Matters promotes the public library as a space to support the information and research needs for people seeking employment, changing career or up-skilling or people involved in business.   The Local Enterprise Offices, the Department of Education and the Citizens Information Board are also involved in this initiative.  This funding will complement existing resources including book-stock relevant to business people and jobseekers, online resources and ICT facilities (e.g. PCs, printers and photocopiers, and high-quality broadband and Wi-Fi).  The facilities will provide spaces for users to seek information, work, meet and collaborate.
  • Right-to-Read Book Stock – People with good literacy skills are more likely to have higher self-esteem, better health and access to better jobs because they are more able to take advantage of the opportunities that life may offer them. The Right to Read Programme is an initiative for the delivery of structured literacy support at local level.  This funding will support the acquisition of book stock for children, family reading and literacy development and will complement the suite of activities being delivered by library services as part of their local Right-to-Read Programmes.


Library Authority DRCD Funding LA Contribution Total Investment
Carlow €67,940 €22,647 €90,587
Cavan €64,272 €21,425 €85,697
Clare €31,320 €10,440 €41,760
Cork City €165,276 €55,092 €220,368
Cork County €54,092 €18,030 €72,122
Donegal €172,762 €57,588 €230,350
Dublin City €105,416 €35,139 €140,555
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown €75,600 €25,200 €100,800
Fingal €106,079 €35,359 €141,438
Galway €126,028 €42,010 €168,038
Kerry €266,750 €88,917 €355,667
Kildare €179,500 €59,833 €239,333
Kilkenny €126,582 €42,194 €168,776
Laois €119,477 €39,826 €159,303
Leitrim €78,707 €26,236 €104,943
Limerick €147,588 €49,197 €196,785
Longford €100,096 €33,366 €133,462
Louth €64,645 €21,549 €86,194
Mayo €90,925 €30,308 €121,233
Meath €206,644 €68,881 €275,525
Monaghan €55,350 €18,450 €73,800
Offaly €106,260 €35,420 €141,680
Roscommon €51,445 €17,148 €68,593
Sligo €91,783 €30,595 €122,378
South County Dublin €161,125 €53,708 €214,833
Tipperary €209,646 €69,882 €279,528
Waterford €258,427 €86,142 €344,569
Westmeath €135,486 €45,162 €180,648
Wexford €201,193 €67,064 €268,257
Wicklow €121,136 €40,379 €161,515
 Total Investment €3,741,550 €1,247,187 €4,988,737