Wednesday 15 January 2014

Launch of new national strategy on public libraries

If you could build your ideal public library, what would it be like? A bright, spacious place to work, study, relax or enjoy community events? Free access, longer opening hours, WiFi, self-service, ebooks and professional staff to help you with any research you might need? Or maybe you'd prefer to enjoy the digital library from the comfort of your own home? All of the above... or is that too much to ask? You may think this idyllic service is only available within the bounds of your imagination, but the new public library strategy 2013-2017, Opportunities for All: the public library as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural development sets out a progressive plan to makes these dreams a reality. Published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Opportunities for All was launched on 19th December 2013, by Minister Phil Hogan at the Institute of Public Administration, Dublin. Split into seven strands of activity, Opportunities for All sets out concrete action plans to revitalise the public library service to meet the needs of the 21st Century community. Under the overarching social, economic and cultural policies, the foundations have been laid for the construction of our ideal public library. Staff working in libraries around the country were asked to contribute ideas to help guide the work of the strategy and to input novel or worthwhile case studies. An award of an iPad was given to a member of staff who contributed the most valid and worthy input. Clare Library’s staff member, Samantha Morrissey scooped the award and is pictured receiving her iPad from Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Arkins, with County Librarian Helen Walsh and County Manager Tom Coughlan. The strategy is an initiative of the LGMA, CCMA and the Dept of Environment, Community and Local Government.

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