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Public Libraries


With over 14 million visits annually, libraries play an important community role as centres of knowledge, information and culture. As a result of ongoing investment in the public library service, quality of life is being is being improved and new opportunities for education, life-long learning, leisure and personal development have been developed through enhanced multi media and ICT services.

There are 359 branch libraries and 29.5 mobile libraries in Ireland (including a shared cross-border service). The library service is operated by 32 library authorities, which are generally city or county councils. Four services are run by City Councils, twenty seven are run by County Councils and one (in Tipperary where there are 2 County Councils) is a joint libraries committee. You can access local library information via each city or county council website. Alernatively you will find up-to-date contact details for your local library on the library website (external link), managed by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna which publishes news and information about libraries in Ireland.

Funding and Service Development

The Department offers grant-aid towards the construction and refurbishment of public libraries, ICT advances in the library services and the purchase of library vehicles.

Departmental policy in relation to the development of the library service until 2013 is set put in the document, Branching Out – Future Directions (pdf, 3,119kb)

The Department offers grant-aid towards the construction and refurbishment of public libraries, the computerisation of the library service and the purchase of library vehicles.

An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (ACL/The Library Council)

An Chomhairle Leabharlanna advises the Department and the Library Authorities on public library development and on library co-operation. For further information on the wide range of activities undertaken by ACL, visit the Library Council website (external link)



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Publications & Documents

News and Speeches