Library will be focal point for a range of community services
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, today (3 May 2018) officially opened a new state-of-the-art library in Athy, Co Kildare. The Department of Rural and Community Development provided a contribution of €1.65 million to the project under the Library Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021. A further €2.1 million was provided by Kildare County Council towards the cost of the project.
Recognising the importance of the library for Athy, the Minister said: “The library has been designed to meet the significant and diverse needs of the citizens of Athy and the surrounding areas and will act as a hub of educational, cultural, information resources and civic engagement.”
The Minister noted that “our public libraries create great opportunities for the communities they serve. This wonderful facility realises the potential and promise of a modern, evolving library service and, as times have changed, libraries and library staff have been to the forefront embracing this change. In particular, libraries are offering lifelong learning opportunities – supporting literacy and providing access to a wide range of online resources and modern technology.”
The Minister acknowledged the importance of local and central government working together to deliver local services. The Minister referenced the commitment of Kildare County Council, saying: “Without Kildare County Council’s commitment to the project and its investment of more than €2 million, we wouldn’t be here today opening this wonderful community facility.”
The new library is situated in the former home of the Dominican Order in Athy. Minister Ring said: “This iconic building is an integral part of the history of Athy and I know it is treasured by both local people and the wider community. So it is fitting that life has been breathed back into it again and it has been transformed into this inviting and inspiring community space. I am delighted to see that the site is shared with a new family hub development which is run by the Peter McVerry Trust.”
A new Strategy for Public Libraries 2018-2022 will be launched shortly by Minister Ring, which aims to develop libraries that are attractive, vibrant and multi-functional spaces.
Special Adviser to Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development
Note to editors:
- The Libraries Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021 was launched in January 2016.
- It committed almost €23m to 17 capital projects and the roll-out of My Open Library.