Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, said €547,262 in funding has been secured for digital library services and facilities in Kildare.

This investment will enhance ICT infrastructure, create new meeting spaces with state of the art technology and provide dedicated digital learning suites.

Deputy Heydon said: “The new facilities and services will attract new users of all ages to our public libraries. This funding will transform our public library service across Kildare.”

“The funding includes the provision of iPads/tablets/smart devices for users and for staff to assist users; computers and workstations including image deployment technology; software to support design, gaming and coding; Meeting space technology; Podcasting equipment and workstations.

I am delighted to see innovative technology such as “Dementia Tables” which facilitate play and learning for people with mild to severe dementia as well as those with intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties and autism; Mobile LCD screens with audio; Interactive whiteboards and digital training suites.

“All of this shows how progressive our libraries have become. We are to the forefront with new technologies and services for our local communities here in Kildare” Heydon said.

The almost €8 million national investment comprises of approximately €6 million from Fine Gael

Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring’s Department and a further €2 million contribution from Local Authorities.

Minister Ring said: ““I launched the new public library strategy Our Public Libraries 2022– Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities in May. The strategy seeks to establish the library as not only a community hub but also an important enabler of digital services and facilitator of digital skills development. This significant investment is the first step towards realising this aim.”