• The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has today approved a major investment package for digital services and facilities in public libraries in Mayo.

    The following libraries will receive investments in technology under this initiative.

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    This is part of an almost €8 million investment in libraries comprises of approximately €6 million from Minister Ring’s department and a further €2 million contribution from local authorities.

    Minister Ring has been telling Midwest Radio that this funding will transform our public library service in Mayo, with 14 libraries benefitting.

  • Three Mayo libraries are being allocated funding totalling over €100,000.

    Minister Heather Humphreys has announced grant aid for the libraries in Castlebar, Ballyhaunis and Ballinrobe for upgrade works and roof repairs.

    Along with top-up funding from Mayo Co Co, Ballyhaunis library will receive €45,000 with €5,000 for Ballinrobe and over €69,000 for Castlebar librar.y

    Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary told Midwest News that the funding is welcome for facilities that are constantly in demand.

    €111,000 has been allocated for the upgrade of Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown Libraries

    In Ballaghaderren €67,000 has been allocated to provide for carpet, partitions and furniture. In Strokestown €44,000 has been allocated to provide for shelving, perspex, furniture and an occupancy control system.

    Local deputy Denis Naughten says the investment in the smaller libraries across County Roscommon is welcome and will improve the experience for both those who use and work in both libraries.




  • The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has officially launched an ambitious new five year strategy for public libraries.

    Core elements of the strategy include the complete abolition of library fines and the roll out of the “My Open Library” initiative which will see a significant increase in library opening times in 100 of the 330 library branches around the country.

    Swinford Library will be one of the first libraries in which My Open Library will be rolled out.

    The 100 libraries nationally involved in the My Open Library initiative will see library opening hours increase from current normal working hours to: 8am-10pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

  • Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has been selected as a finalist in the European Innovation in Politics Awards for abolishing library fines and increasing of library opening hours in many libraries.

    The Innovation in Politics Awards acknowledges and supports public initiatives which make a difference in order to highlight innovation in Europe.

    Out of over 400 nominations from across Europe, 80 finalists were selected by a jury of more than 1,000 citizens from all European countries.

    Under the My Open Library Initiative, libraries open from 8am to 10pm, 365 days per year.

    Fifteen libraries, including Tubbercurry’s library, have already adopted the scheme which will extend to a hundred branches by end 2022.

    Minister Ring said the nomination is a tribute to the hard work put in by all the libraries undertaking the initiative.

  • Funding of over €43,000 has been allocated to provide sensory facilities and equipment in Castlebar and Ballina libraries.

    The Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has allocated the funding to assist people with sensory impairments, special educational needs and other learning differences, including those on the Autism spectrum.

    This part of a national investment of almost €700,000 for facilities which can include sensory library rooms, sensory toys and play equipment, assistive technologies, autism-friendly signage, books and social stories.

    Minister Ring says he wants people living with autism or learning differences to see libraries as a safe and welcoming space for them and their families, and says they're working to ensure that library services are inclusive and accessible for all.

    He says Castlebar Library will work closely with Castlebar Autism Friendly Committee, Mayo Autism Camp, local special needs schools and SNA's in ensuring the local community derives maximum benefit from the new facilities.

    Likewise, Ballina Library will work with the Ballina Autism Support Group, the Newman Institute, Shore Farm Pony Therapy and a number of local schools.