The funding will provide a range of library equipment to support older people and people with disabilities. It will also enable an investment in assistive technology for libraries to support people with visual and hearing impairments.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien, have this week announced €550,000 in funding for library supports.

The funding, under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan, will assist public libraries in reaching out to people with disabilities and other marginalised groups.

Funding of €400,000 has been approved to support the provision of assistive technologies such as hearing loops, electronic magnifiers and wayfinding tools. It will also help people with disabilities to access library services by providing wheelchair-accessible shelving, height-adjustable desks and seating.

Further funding of €150,000 has been approved to support the promotion of public libraries through the hosting of an Open Day in all libraries nationwide that will enable them to showcase what they offer to the public.

Minister Humphreys said: The projects that are being funded under this initiative will create a more welcoming, accessible and engaging library experience for thousands of people. This will put our libraries at the forefront of reaching out to all members of the community in which they serve – this is a key objective of the new library strategy ‘The Library is the Place’.

“This funding will make a huge difference to people’s lives by providing equipment to support our elderly people and people with disabilities. It will also build on the excellent projects which have been delivered over the past five years and will help our public libraries to continue to foster community well-being and build community cohesion in their role as community hubs.”

Minister O’Brien added: “I am delighted that the overall 2024 Dormant Accounts Action Plan will support 52 different measures across the country with a total value of €47.6m.

“I am particularly pleased that the assistive technology and furniture that will be supported by this funding will make our public library service more accessible to everyone in our communities.

“This equipment will support the hearing and visually impaired communities, the elderly and those with physical disabilities.”

The Ministers also thanked the local authorities and the library staff for their ongoing commitment and support to the public library service.