Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, has today announced funding of almost €1.5 million to support the continued roll-out of the My Open Library service to 17 further branches.
And Portarlington Library is the Laois one that benefits as they will have new services beginning in December.
They will also receive Magic Tables which benefit people with dementia, autism and learning difficulties
My Open Library allows access to public libraries on a self-service basis from 8am to 10pm, 365 days a year.
The Department funding will be matched by local authorities to the value of €0.5 million giving a total investment of almost €2 million.
The public libraries strategy Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities aims to introduce the My Open Library service to 100 library branches around the country by 2022.
The My Open Library service is currently available in 15 public libraries with a further three due to open before the end of the year.
Automated access to the branch for library members via membership card and pin code during unstaffed hours.
· Provision of self-service activities including, but not limited to:
· issue and return of books and other library stock,
· internet access on PCs,
· use of wi-fi,
· printing and photocopying,
· study/reading spaces, and
· meeting facilities.
Minister Ring said: “The My Open Library service has been an amazing success. It is an exciting development and is transforming our libraries. I am delighted to provide this funding which will see a further 17 branches enabled to provide the service.
“The My Open Library service extends the availability of library services to customers at times that suit them best, providing greater flexibility and convenience through increased opening hours in addition to the invaluable staffed hours.
“It has facilitated increased access for students to study from early in the morning to late at night; families with working parents; commuters; people up-skilling; and community groups to use the meeting room facilities.”