Public libraries

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Introduction

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, managed by the Local Government Management Agency, Libraries Development, which publishes news and information about libraries in Ireland.

‘Opportunities for All: A Strategy for Public Libraries’.

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’. The library strategy which envisages ‘the public library as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural development’ has been developed by the Department, the County and City Managers’ Association and the Local Government Management Agency taking stakeholder views into account.

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 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.

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