Public libraries to get iPads as part of €8m in funding

'Dementia Tables' will also be introduced for people mild to severe dementia

Public libraries to get iPads as part of €8m in funding

Shelves of Apple iPads at the company's store in London | Image: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/PA Images

Several public libraries are to receive iPads, tablets and smart devices under new funding.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has approved almost €8m for ICT and digital services.

This is made up of some €6m from Minister Ring's department, and a further €2m from local authorities.

The funding includes the provision of iPads, tablets and smart devices for users and for staff, computers and workstations with image deployment technology, and podcasting equipment and workstations.

'Dementia Tables', which facilitate people with mild to severe dementia as well as those with intellectual disabilities, will also be introduced.

Proposed allocations for each local authority

Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said: "This investment will enhance ICT infrastructure, create new meeting spaces with state of the art technology and provide dedicated digital learning suites.

"The new facilities and services will attract new users of all ages to our public libraries.

"I am delighted to see innovative technology such as Dementia Tables which include dementia and learning disability software being installed as well as virtual reality headsets.

"All of this shows how progressive our libraries have become. We are to the forefront with new technologies and services for the communities we serve."

The funding is part of the new public library strategy 'Our Public Libraries 2022', announced in May.

The strategy wants to establish the library as a community hub - but also an important enabler of digital services and facilitator of digital skills development.