Wednesday 22 May 2019

Technology grant for county libraries

Eileen Morrissey, county librarian
Eileen Morrissey, county librarian

Brendan Keane

Funding of €295,000 has been allocated to the five libraries in Co Wexford to help them improve public access to technology.

The money will be used to improve access to iPads, design software, 3D printing and for digital training.

The Government announced a funding package of €221,000 for the county's libraries, however, this will be supplemented by a €74,000 contribution from the County Council bringing the overall allocation to €295,000.

The initial grant aid was announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, as part of an investment package for digital services and facilities in the library network nationwide.

Some of the items for which the money will be used include: iPads and other smart devices; computers and workstations including image deployment technology; software to support design and coding; meeting space technology; podcasting equipment and workstations; 3D printers; mobile LCD screens with audio; interactive whiteboards; digital training suites and virtual reality headsets.

It's hoped the funding will ensure Wexford's libraries have state-of-the-art technology and dedicated digital learning suites.

Wexford County Librarian, Eileen Morrissey, welcomed the funding for the library network here and said it will help achieve the aim of the recently launched public library strategy, 'Our Public Libraries 2022', which set out to establish libraries as 'enablers of digital services and facilitators of digital skills development'.

'This welcome funding will help Wexford County Council to achieve these goals by providing state-of-the-art new services, free-of-charge to all members of our community,' said Ms Morrissey.

She said the facilities will also have robotics kits to help library users engage with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

It's expected that Wexford County Council will use some of the funding to the improve meeting space technology available at the five libraries.

New Ross Standard