Minister of State English welcomes two excellent Public Library initiatives
Damien English, T.D., Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, today (21 June 2016) announced two library initiatives – ‘My Open Library’: Unlimited Access 8am - 10pm and the Summer Stars Reading Programme in Tullamore Central Library, Co. Offaly.
Minister English announced the launch of a call for proposals from Local Authorities to implement the ‘My Open Library’ initiative which extends public library opening hours during unstaffed hours, while continuing to provide regular staffed times for ongoing delivery of service, supporting customers, developing community engagement and hosting events. The ‘My Open Library’ initiative is operated through self-service from 08:00-22:00, 365 days a year, outside of staffed hours. Meeting rooms and community space is also made available for use. The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government will be providing over €2.3 million for the initiative over the coming years.
The Minister praised the new initiative saying “It means that the public and communities will have access to this invaluable local resource when they need and want to use it most. This will strengthen the prominence of the library in the local community and position it as a focal point for community engagement.”
The Minister also announced the roll-out of a new Summer Stars Reading Programme, which will run in libraries throughout the country this summer.
In launching the Programme the Minister said “Reading opens up a world of imagination and opportunity. Encouraging children to read is vital. It helps them to develop and, if nothing else, will provide them with a pastime that will stand the test of time! So I encourage parents to bring their children to the local library and participate in the programme. Indeed, library membership is free for everybody now – so there’s no excuse not to visit.”