Wicklow County Council Library Service is to receive a total of €24,577 from the Dormant Accounts Action plan which is designed to assist libraries in reaching out to marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
The announcement of the funding allocation was made by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD.
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.
Following the announcement, the Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen said: “This funding is so important. In 2018 we received funding from Dormant Accounts to support the library service in the provision of literacy supports to every school in County Wicklow. Over twelve hundred children from primary and post-primary schools have benefitted from access to ‘Lexia’. This additional funding will help us to extend the offer of this valuable resource for another three years.”
Dormant Funds consist of money from unclaimed accounts in banks, building societies and post-offices; this money also comes from unclaimed insurance policies and is allocated annually to successful applicants by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The three projects Wicklow County Library received funding towards are Lexia, Zoomtext Magnifiers for six main branch libraries and ‘Social Stories’ for all libraries across the county.
Outreach librarian, Margaret Birchall, said: “This is really good news for our libraries – in addition to Lexia, we will now have 28 social stories professionally designed and created for all 13 branches and our mobile library. These ‘Visiting the Library’ social stories are aimed at neuro-divergent children who often find new situations stressful. The stories will be hugely helpful to them and to their parents as they plan their visit to the library.”
The installation of Zoomtext Magnifiers in six of the library branches at Arklow, Baltinglass, Blessington, Bray, Greystones and Wicklow will also be funded.
Michael Nicholson, Director of Services, commented: “Funding the installation of this equipment will improve accessibility to our public access computers for people with visual impairment and print disability. This is vitally important for anyone using a computer for work, study or leisure pursuits.”
Libraries across Wicklow are open for browsing and borrowing and some are now facilitating outdoor events such as workshops and story times. Library membership is completely free of charge for everyone. If you are not yet a library member, drop into your local library to join or you can join now online at https://www.librariesireland.ie/join, the library card can then be collected at your convenience.