£1 million in funding announced for NI Libraries

Additional funding of £1 million has been made available for new books in libraries across Northern Ireland.

In September, Libraries NI said it had no money to buy new books because there was a “significant funding gap” in its annual budget.

Jim O’Hagan, director of Libraries NI, said the organization was “very grateful to be able to buy books again”.

The £1 million prize brings the total funding for book stock for 2023-2024 to £3 million.

Libraries NI is funded by the Department for Communities.

It is responsible for 96 branch libraries in Northern Ireland, as well as services such as mobile libraries.

Its duty, set out in law, is to “provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service to persons living, working or studying in Northern Ireland”.

‘A joy’

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons welcomed the delivery of new stock to Lisburn City Library on Thursday, marking World Book Day.

“I am pleased to support the funding of this stock replenishment across all libraries,” he said.

“Books are not only important for learning and knowledge, they also stimulate imagination and encourage creativity and communication.

“It’s a joy to see the excitement of today’s younger readers and to know the joy they will bring to readers of all ages and interests.”

Mr O’Hagan added that customers would be pleased to hear of new titles arriving in libraries and online.

“Reading for pleasure plays a crucial role in improving reading skills, promoting well-being, promoting continuous learning, relieving stress and boosting memory and concentration,” he said.

“As we come together to celebrate World Book Day and the joy of reading, we are confident this funding will have a positive impact on the communities our libraries serve.”

The new book stock includes books for all ages and interests, along with eBooks and eAudiobooks, for libraries across Northern Ireland.

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