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Written Answers. - Library Services.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 188. Mr. Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the amount of funding his Department has made available for library services in County Kildare in each of the past three years; his plans to upgrade funding in general for libraries in order that each library has the proper facilities for computer and audio training and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10389/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey The funding provided in the period 1999-2001 by my Department towards library building projects, library materials, provision of Internet access points, the automation of library management systems and the electronic delivery of library services in County Kildare, is shown as follows:

Year Grant-Aid
1999 €567,315.05
2000 €408,710.53
2001 €184,194.02

In relation to funding for public library services generally, the implementation of the recommendations in the 1998 report on the public library services, Branching Out, is now well advanced. Progress made to date includes: a doubling of capital investment in library buildings. The multi-annual building programme put in place in 1999 was expanded last year and there are now projects [864] under construction or in planning which will attract grant-aid of over €65 million; provision of funding for the installation of more than 1,400 Internet access points together with a centrally funded scheme of Internet training for library staff; provision of library stock grants totalling €4.4 million in 1999-2001 with the result that average spending on book stock by library authorities has increased from €1.61 per capita in 1998 to €2.49 in 2001; introduction of improved financial assistance for the computerisation of management systems and the electronic delivery of library services; following a pilot project in six libraries to assist people with visual disabilities, plans to introduce PC based optical scanning facilities throughout the library network are well advanced; the launch of a major promotion of free library membership to all primary schoolchildren to promote better awareness of public library services.

Question No. 189 answered with Question No. 182.

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