In recognition of the unintended damage caused to children’s literacy skills due to school closures, Labour Rep Chris O’Dwyer is calling on South Dublin County Council to open a library hub in Saggart Village.
O’Dwyer said: “Books are instrumental to unlocking a lifelong commitment to discovery and are central in the ongoing development of every person’s literacy skills. While all children’s literacy may be impacted by school closures and a lack of access to books, these closures have disproportionately hit areas that do not have access to a local library or library hub. “OECD studies show that poverty and low literacy are two sides of the same coin, and lead to the perpetuation of inequality later in life. That’s why we must be strategic about fixing literacy rates in Ireland and have a joined-up government approach on this.
“Part of the solution is to enhance the role of libraries as a community focal point. In a year where children have not had the same opportunity to browse the aisles of their school library, they need to have access to a library in their village. That is why I am calling on South Dublin County Council to open a library hub right in the heart of Saggart Village. “In addition, we need to extend library opening hours, particularly at weekends when most people have the time to use and enjoy them. We need to rethink and reimagine the potential of our libraries which could be developed as local resource hubs for Saggart and for those seeking training, work and even to set up their own business.
“The library hub in Palmerstown has been a success and it is time for the Council to show the same level of investment in Saggart, which was identified by the CSO in 2016 as Ireland’s fastest growing town. I recently spoke to some Saggart residents who drive to Tallaght in order to access library facilities. However, because of traffic and poor public transport links they cannot access library facilities regularly. Whereas if there was a library hub in the heart of the village they will be able to access library facilities as they go about their day to day lives. “We need to create a fairer starting point for children and help eradicate illiteracy through early intervention at both primary and secondary school level.”