Government funding of almost €30,000 has been approved for facilities in local public libraries for the benefit of individuals with sensory impairments, special educational needs, other learning differences, and those on the autism spectrum.
Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton said that the investment would see the provision of a sensory room in Westside Library, as well as dedicated spaces in 10 other branches of the local library network.
“This funding aims to improve the library experience for children, teenagers and adults with sensory impairments, additional needs and learning differences; as well as their parents, guardians or carers,” she said.
“It’s a step towards ensuring that our libraries are inclusive, accessible and beneficial for everyone in our communities, reflecting a key commitment contained in the public libraries strategy.”
The funding has been provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development, and will also be used to provide items such as sensory play equipment and toys, assistive technology, and autism-friendly signage.
Galway County Council will supplement the departmental contribution of €28,698 to bring the total amount invested in the facilities to €38,264. The allocation follows a call for proposals from local authorities around the country.
“There has been a level of demand for these facilities in local libraries, and I am very pleased that both the department and our local authorities have been proactive in responding to that need,” added Deputy Naughton.