Ministers Humphreys and O’Brien announce €650,000 Funding for Library Supports for Marginalised, Socially Excluded and Disadvantaged Communities

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Press Release 20th July 2021

  • €650,000 funding package for 120 projects provided from the 2021 Dormant Accounts Action Plan
  • Funding aimed to assist public libraries in reaching out to marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities


Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, have today (Tuesday, 20 July) announced €650,000 in funding for library supports.

The funding, under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan, is designed to assist libraries in reaching out to older people, the unemployed and other marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged groups.


Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:

“I am delighted today to be allocating €650,000 in this funding to libraries across the country.

“Our libraries have responded magnificently to the challenges presented by the pandemic and continued to provide services throughout the past 16 months.

“This funding will help them to reach out and engage further with the communities they serve.

“The kind of programmes being funded through this initiative will benefits thousands of library users, young and old.”


Commenting on the funding, Minister O’Brien said:

“I am delighted to approve these projects under the 2021 Dormant Accounts Action Plan. The projects are diverse in nature and target a multiplicity of groups including Travellers, New Irish, residents of Direct Provision Centres, the elderly who have experienced isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also funding for groups working to provide autism supports, working with hearing and visually impaired communities, and people with learning differences such as dyslexia. This funding package will build on the excellent projects which were delivered last year and also helps our public libraries to foster community well-being and build community cohesion in their role as community hubs.”

The funding will provide:

(i)         €450,000 for events and programmes which reaches out to marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged communities.

(ii)        €200,000 for the provision of digital equity and sensory equipment.


Minister O’Brien added:

“I am particularly pleased that this funding supports the installation of equipment in public libraries which will improve accessibility for people with a disability, sensory needs, autism, and older members of our community. Our public libraries are welcoming and inclusive spaces and it is important that everybody can avail of the services that they provide.”

The Ministers also thanked the local authorities and the library staff for their ongoing commitment and support to the public library service.

A full list of funded projects is available on gov.ie.

Ref: DRCD Press Release 20th July 2021 Library Supports


The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

076-1006843 / 087-1734633




Contact details for all public libraries are available on https://www.librariesireland.ie/ or local authority websites.


Programming Element

Details of the projects are listed in Appendix 2. A table detailing the proposed County funding allocation is included in Appendix 1.

  • Appendix 1 – Proposed allocations for each library authority: Download
  • Appendix 2 – Programme funding details: Download


Digital Equity and Social Inclusion

This measure will support the provision of modern equipment in public libraries that improves accessibility for people with a disability and those with sensory needs, autism, or older members of our community. It includes Assistive Technology which is equipment that can help a person with a disability perform activities that might not otherwise be possible. Assistive products maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, thereby promoting their well-being e.g. assistive devices and headphones that will enable the visually impaired to use library resources, wheelchair-accessible shelving, customizable workstations, and wayfinding etc.


How to join your library online

Library membership is completely free of charge for everyone in every public library in the country.  If you are not yet a library member, you can join now by following the instructions below:

  • You will be assigned a temporary library number and you can set up a library PIN. With those, you’ll be able to access all of the online services listed in this document immediately, all completely free of charge.


If you are having trouble joining online, you can contact your library by phone

or email. You can also email info@librariesireland.ie for assistance.

If you are already a library member, you can access all of the online services shown in this document by following the instructions provided for each one. These can be accessed at this address: https://www.librariesireland.ie/elibrary


Libraries Reopening Following COVID-19 Restrictions

  • Libraries are open to the public for browsing, loans, contact and collect and a take away printing and photocopying service. PC access and reading spaces are not currently available.
  • Some of the smaller branches may not open for browsing until the social distancing requirements are reduced as they are small in size e.g. a room in a community centre and have only one member of staff assigned to them.
  • Libraries continue to provide their online services which includes eBooks, eAudiobooks, newspapers, magazines and eLearning courses.

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