· Third annual Ireland Reads Day takes place this Saturday February 25th
· Ministers announce new €33 million capital fund for libraries nationwide
· Raheny Library becomes latest branch to offer extended hours to members
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, have today (Thursday, 23rd February 2023) encouraged people to “squeeze in a read” on Ireland Reads Day which will take place on Saturday, February 25th.
This is the third consecutive year of ‘Ireland Reads’ – a campaign designed to get the whole country reading during February.
Highlighting ‘Ireland Reads’ today, Ministers Humphreys and Harris paid a visit to Raheny Library in Dublin where they officially opened the new ‘My Open Library Service’.
This is a service that allows members of the public to access their local library outside of normal opening hours.
Minister Humphreys also today announced a €33 million investment in capital projects in libraries nationwide. Local authorities will shortly be asked to submit proposals for projects in their local library facilities.
Speaking in Raheny this morning, Minister Humphreys said:
“As Minister with responsibility for public libraries, I am delighted to support the Ireland Reads campaign for a third consecutive year.
“This campaign is all about promoting the power of reading and highlighting the benefits of reading in terms of wellbeing.
“So I’m encouraging everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day this Saturday and to continue to avail of the wonderful services that our local libraries have to offer.”
Minister Humphreys added:
“I am also delighted today, along with Minister Harris, to formally launch the new ‘My Open Library’ Service in Raheny.
“This is a wonderful service that allows people to access their local library between 8am-10pm, 365 days of the year.
“Separately, I’m pleased today to announce a new €33 million public libraries capital programme.
“This will see the delivery and upgrade of library facilities the length and breadth of the country.
“Local authorities will be able to submit proposals for projects shortly and I’m encouraging them to be bold and ambitious with their ideas.”
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD is encouraging people to access vital literacy supports for Ireland Reads.
One in five adults struggle with reading everyday text while a quarter lack basic maths skills.
Speaking at Raheny Library today, Minister Harris said:
“All of us want to see and live in an Ireland where every adult has the necessary literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills to fully engage in society and realise their full potential.
“Supports are available to everyone through their local Education and Training board as part of the Adult Literacy for Life(ALL) strategy. Courses are available to build and improve reading, writing and numeracy skills.
“Gaining these skills can be a confidence boost for many people and open new doors for them. This could be something as simple as going to their local library and taking out a book to read.”