Fingal Libraries win funding for autism friendly initiatives
Fingal Libraries Autism-Friendly scheme approved for over €40,000 funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund
Fingal Libraries have been awarded funding under the Dormant Accounts Fund which will allow for the roll-out of Autism Friendly Schemes across its branch network.
The allocation of €40,350 will allow for the expansion of its Autism Friendly Libraries project that has been operating at Blanchardstown Library on a pilot basis..
Nine libraries across Fingal will implement designated autism-friendly sessions each month, and regularly schedule 'quiet time' and 'relaxed programming' events which cater to people with autism.
Furthermore, the 'In Your Shoes' Autism Experience Exhibition by autism advocacy group AsIAm will be hosted in six branches which will encourage visitors to engage with and understand living with autism.
The project will involve working closely with both national and local autism groups. Training will be delivered to staff from all branches, and a review will be carried out after six months.
The funding which covers the majority of the €53,800 total cost is provided by the Dormant Accounts Fund as part of the Department of Rural and Community Development's initiative 'Library Supports for Marginalised, Socially Excluded and Disadvantaged Communities'.
County Librarian Betty Boardman said: 'Funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund will help us in our efforts to make Fingal Libraries more autism-friendly.
'The designated sessions, staff training and involvement with groups like AsIAm and schools are an innovative and positive approach that will undoubtedly improve the library experience for those with autism.'
Director of Housing and Community Department Margaret Geraghty said: 'Modern libraries are centres of information, discovery, and community, and we are committed to helping people on the autism spectrum experience these benefits to the full.
'I look forward to seeing the project rolled out across Fingal.'
The funding is set to make a huge difference in the experience of our county libraries by those living with autism and rewards the already innovative strides that Fingal Libraries have been making in creating an autism-friendly atmosphere in the county's library facilities.