Minister announces funding for new books in libraries across NI

Date published: 07 March 2024

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons has announced additional funding of £1million for new books for libraries across Northern Ireland.

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons talks books in Largymore Primary School as they celebrate World Book Day at Lisburn Library

Welcoming the delivery of new stock at Lisburn City Library, the Minister said:

“I’m delighted to visit Lisburn City Library to mark World Book Day and to welcome the newly arrived stock of books.

“I’m pleased to be able to support the funding of this replenishment of stock in all libraries.

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

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

The Minister also took part in a storytelling session with children from Largymore Primary School and heard about the vital role local libraries play in encouraging reading, providing access to information, and supporting lifelong learning.

Minister Lyons added:

“Our local libraries play a vital role within communities, not only providing a place to read and learn, but somewhere where people can gather, study and access technology. They offer an ever-evolving range of services, including digital learning platforms, and community programmes and help address the issues around social isolation. It is important that we continue to invest in our libraries to ensure they remain the heart of our local communities.”

Libraries NI Chief Executive Jim O’Hagan said:

“We are very grateful to be able to buy books again and we know that our customers will be delighted to hear that new titles are arriving in libraries and also online. Reading for pleasure plays a vital role in enhancing literacy skills, promoting wellbeing, fostering continuous learning, alleviating stress and for boosting memory and concentration.

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

The new book stock will include books for all ages and interests, eBooks and eAudiobooks for libraries across Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo captions: Communities Minister Gordon Lyons talks books with pupils from Largymore Primary School as they celebrate World Book Day at Lisburn Library.
    Adrienne Adair, Director of Library Services, with Jim O'Hagan, Libraries NI, and Communities Minister Gordon Lyons at Lisburn Library.
  2. The £1m award brings the total funding for book stock to £3m for 2023-24.
  3. World Book Day was created by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe to encourage young people to discover the pleasure of reading.
  4. The Department for Communities supports Libraries NI with funding for book stock in 2023/24, including funding for eBooks, eNewspapers, and eMagazines which can be borrowed online.
  5. For media queries contact the Department for Communities press office via email at: Press Office
  6. Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI(external link opens in a new window / tab)
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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