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Written Answers. - National Library Developments.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 94. Mr. Callely Information on Ivor Callely Zoom on Ivor Callely  asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  the projected developments, if any, in the National Library over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9149/96]

Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins): Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins A number of significant developments are planned to take place at the National Library over the period referred to.

Legislation will be introduced to establish the National Library as an autonomous body under the aegis of my Department.

Work on the preparation of a second strategic plan for the five-year period from 1997 will be commenced. This plan will have regard in particular to the provisions of the Government's strategic management iniative. It will look at how best the increasing requirements of the customers of the National Library can be met as well as at how best the [128] development of the staff of the National Library can be ensured.

A national photographic archive will be established in Temple Bar later this year where the photographic collections of the National Library will be relocated and developed. It is envisaged that the new facility will be open to the public as soon as practicable.

Work on the development of the Racquet Hall at the rear of the National Library to house a microfilming unit will commence shortly. It is hoped that this new facility will allow the National Library to partake in the “Newsplan” project whereby scarce and important newspaper files which might otherwise be lost through decay, will be microfilmed for future preservation. Preliminary work on the planning for an extention to the National Library by conversion of the adjoining National College of Art building has commenced.

A major preservation copying project involving work on Gaelic manuscripts will be undertaken. Additional work on the maps collection held by the National Library will be carried out while considerable financial resources will be invested in archival materials and in conservation work.

The latest technology will be implemented to ensure the continued development of the National Library so as to provide a fast and efficient service to users who due to their remote location do not have easy access to the facilities of the National Library.

The National Library will undertake a review of its information services over the coming years and will continue to develop its educational and exhibition services as well as its heraldic and genealogical services.

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