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Minister Alan Kelly announces new Library Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021

Published on Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016

Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government today, Wednesday, 27 January 2016, announced the roll-out of a new Library Capital Investment Programme for the period 2016-2021.  The programme will see a contribution of some 22m euro by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in some 16 library capital developments and the mainstreaming of the Open Libraries initiative.

Speaking at the launch of the new programme at Tallaght Library in South Dublin, 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”.  The Minister stressed the importance of continued investment in the library service and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment in this regard.  The Minister said “the new programme underpins mine and the Government’s commitment to the Library Service in Ireland.  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 2.3m euro 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.”

In concluding, the Minister thanked those in the library service who contributed to the development programme and who will be key to its successful implementation.  In particular, the Minister thanked the staff of every local library “for their continued professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm and their continued commitment to providing a high quality service to all sections of the community.

Note for Editors

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will invest some 22m euro in the Library Capital Investment Programme for the period 2016-2021. 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’.

Under the programme, 2.75m euro has been secured for 2016 for investment in library development and refurbishment, the continued roll-out of Open Libraries and the purchase of mobiles libraries.  This represents an increase of 1.5m euro on the 2015 capital allocation for libraries.  The allocation will increase to 3.75m euro 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.  2.3m euro 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 under the Library Capital Investment Programme

Local Authority

Library Project

DECLG Allocation

Open Libraries


2.3m euro

Dublin City

Kevin Street

1m euro



1.65m euro



1.65m euro


Wicklow Town

1m euro

Sth. Co. Dublin

North Clondalkin

1m euro



0.15m euro



3m euro



1.7m euro



0.85m euro


Kilkenny City

2.45m euro


Monaghan Town

1m euro



1.1m euro


Limerick City

2m euro



1.25m euro


Schools Mobile Library

0.1m euro


Mobile Library

0.25m euro


Mobile Library

0.25m euro



22.7 euro










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