Waterford Fine Gael Councillor John Cummins has described the €383,277 funding secured for digital library services and facilities in Waterford as hugely significant.
This investment will enhance ICT infrastructure, create new meeting spaces with state of the art technology and provide dedicated digital learning suites.
Cllr. Cummins said: “The new facilities and services will attract new users of all ages to our public libraries. This funding
will transform our public library service across Waterford City and County."
The funding includes the provision of iPads/tablets/smart devices for users and for staff to assist users; computers and workstations including image deployment technology; software to support design, gaming and coding; Meeting space technology; Podcasting equipment and workstations; Dementia Tables, which facilitate play and learning for people with mild to severe dementia as well as those with intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties and autism; Mobile LCD screens with audio; Interactive whiteboards and digital training suites.
Cllr. Cummins added “the vast array of areas which this funding will go towards shows how progressive our libraries have become. We are to the forefront with new technologies and services for our local communities here in Waterford and with 12 public library branches spread throughout Waterford City and County the vast majority of our citizens are well served."
"The almost €8 million national investment comprises of approximately €6 million from Fine Gael Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring’s Department and a further €2 million contribution from Local Authorities," Cllr Cummins said.
“I launched the new public library strategy Our Public Libraries 2022– Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities in May. The strategy seeks to establish the library as not only a community hub but also an important enabler of digital services and facilitator of digital skills development. This significant investment is the first step towards realising this aim, Minsiter Ring said last week.
Cllr. Cummins concluded by saying, “I would encourage anyone young or old who has lost touch with our libraries over the years to re-engage, you will find hugely welcoming staff and an environment that you can both relax and explore the world in."