CILIP Ireland welcomes action to halt reductions to library services in Northern Ireland

CILIP Ireland has welcomed the announcement that Northern Ireland’s Department for Communities will provide library authority Libraries NI, which holds statutory responsibility for the provision of public library services in Northern Ireland, with additional funding of £225,000 to halt proposed reductions in opening hours at fourteen of its busiest libraries.

Gerardine Blee, Development Officer CILIP Ireland said:

“CILIP Ireland warmly welcomes the action by Communities Minister Paul Givan to secure additional funding to prevent reductions to vital library access and services in Northern Ireland.

Public libraries in Northern Ireland play a unique role supporting and developing their communities, with professional staff using their local knowledge to deliver services that have positive outcomes for that community. This investment in public libraries means they can continue to provide invaluable opportunities for local children and families, students, the unemployed and local businesses and trusted access to information, knowledge and support for everyone”

The announcement was made by Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA, following strong response from the public to a consultation on proposed reductions to opening hours due to budget pressures.

The Minister said:

“The views of people are important in any public consultation and the responses received during the Libraries NI consultation has been clearly heard, both by the organisation and by me as Minister.

Public libraries are a vital community asset and in my view they have an important role to play in delivering activities and programmes which contribute to innovation, creativity, social and economic wellbeing, working in partnership with a wide range of both the statutory and voluntary sectors. They remain a valuable resource and one which I will continue to support.”

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