€38,000 to be spent on library supports
ALMOST €38,000 has been earmarked to provide library supports to communities and individuals at risk of being socially excluded, marginalised or disadvantaged in Co Wicklow.
In all, some €650,000 is being provided nationwide through the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2019, Minister of State Sean Canney announced last week. Payments will be made by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring.
The funding is designed to provide access to educational, lifelong learning, social inclusion, and community participation supports available through the public library service; to support digital literacy, digital access and digital capacity for disadvantaged and marginalised communities; and to provide literacy supports in tandem with the national Rightto-Read Programme.
The total allocation for Co Wicklow is €37,914. Of this, €28,435.50 comes from a department contribution, while the remaining €9,478.50 is a local authority contribution.
Six projects in Co Wicklow will receive a share of the funding.
The biggest allocation – €23,800 – will go towards ‘Lexia’, a literacy programme for those with dyslexia and dyspraxia.
Touch-type Read and Spell for Teachers, a literacy and digital skills course for targeted pupils and special education school teachers, has been allocated €7,694 while €1,590 has been assigned to ‘Story-time at the Library – Sparking an Interest in Reading’, which is a six-week story-time and arts based interactive learning programme for 24 children from a local after-school project and a junior youth group in a disadvantaged area.
Some €1,200 will be used to provide a half-day’s computer training to adults in disadvantaged areas to help them learn the basics of online banking, shopping, booking holidays, using Google Maps, etc. STEM sessions for children aged three to 12 years and their parents has been allocated €1,920.
The final project to benefit, to the tune of €1,440, is Toddler Time, which involves one-hour sessions to encourage parents from disadvantaged areas to read to their children and to also use music, movement and rhyme.
Minister Canney said that the funding will ‘help meet the needs of a diverse range of individuals and communities and facilitate inclusion and participation by all’ and added that public libraries have an important role to play ‘in delivering additional educational services to comply with our Sustainable Development Goals’.
Meanwhile, Minister Ring said: ‘Everyone should feel that the library is a space for them. This funding will help reach out to communities who may not have previously engaged with the service.’