A range of exciting initiatives will be possible in Wicklow County Council Library Service as a result of a €23,862 grant from the “Dormant Accounts Funding” including aids to help those with reading difficulties, books in Ukrainian and other languages and books for Shelton Abbey Open Prison.
The funding, announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, will enable the provision of electronic resources both in library buildings and online and will also be used to assist libraries in offering literacy and mathematics supports across the library network.
In recent years “Dormant Accounts Funding” has helped Wicklow’s libraries to fund online literacy supports, sensory spaces and the recent recording of the “Small Steps to Literacy” video programming, among many other relevant and important literacy-based projects.
One of the highlights of the funding will be the purchase of “C-pens” which have a simple scanning mechanism that reads text aloud and will be available for borrowing in each library, making life easier for anyone struggling with reading and enabling parents to try out a pen before making a decision to purchase this costly item.
The grant will also enable Wicklow County Council to purchase a subscription for an online data base of children’s picture books in 50 different languages. This includes Ukrainian titles and will be welcomed by parents of young children now living in County Wicklow, if English is not their main language.
The much welcome additional funding also paves the way to acquire a new online “Times Tables” support for schools which will be offered from September and builds on the current “Mathletics” offer acquired in 2020.
Planned library programming as a result of the funding will provide a pilot intergenerational programme to three nursing homes in the County, a literacy programme for pre-schoolers and for children living in direct provision, a dedicated book club for children with dyslexia and a “Minecraft Club”.
Wicklow County Council Library Service has an existing connection with Shelton Abbey Open Prison in terms of the selection of books and support for the librarian. Part of this funding will be used to build on this connection by enhancing our service to the Open Prison population in Shelton Abbey, encouraging membership, facilitating activities for visiting children and nurturing the skill of reading aloud to children.
Speaking after the announcement, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Tommy Annesley said: “This significant funding will improve the accessibility of literacy supports across the library network and will further position our public libraries as a valuable community resource.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Michael Nicholson, added: “Wicklow County Council welcomes this funding and will ensure that it is promoted and made available to those who need it most. It will complement literacy support programmes, such as “LEXIA” and “TTRS,” which Wicklow County Council has made available across all schools and libraries in the County”.