The Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair is now home to the county’s latest European Direct Information Centre (EDIC).
“Public library branches enjoy very high footfall and champion a culture of open access to all,” said Pat “the Cope” Gallagher, MEP, at the EDIC launch last Friday. “As the default source of assistance when seeking information about public and government information, they are particularly suited to the role as facilitators for communications to and for the EU.”
Donegal County Council Library Service has hosted the information centre in the Central Library, Letterkenny, since 2005, when the European Commission initiated the EDICs to create a network of accessible information centres in all EU member states.
Last year, Donegal County Council was again awarded the contract for the EDIC, which included a further satellite centre in the leabharlann, providing services to Gaeltacht areas nationally.
Mr. Gallagher said the mission of the EDIC initiative is to distribute information and advice about EU policies, to promote local and regional debate about the EU and to allow European institutions to disseminate local and regional information and to give the people an opportunity to send feedback to the European Union. In this way, the EDICs are the local link between Europe and the citizen.
As part of their remit, EDICs also provide events and activities throughout the year, ranging from the annual, “Have Your Say” soapbox competition with reginoal heats and a national final, talks on current EU issues such as agriculture and fisheries funding reform, European folk tales and story times, debates on EU policy and exhibitions on European history and traditions.
Mr. Gallagher credited Letterkenny and Gaoth Dobhair library staff Laura McNutt, Ann Rennicks and Dennis McGeady for their work in carrying out the EDIC functions.
“To be responsible for this is a great tribute to Donegal County Council, in particular to its library service in Donegal and to the work of the library staff in particular,” Mr. Gallagher said.
The website www.europedirect.ie provides details of all of the contact information for the EDICs, current and future events taking place, information on the EU institutions in Ireland as well as details of and access to central EU developments and current information.
Acting in partnership with the main Europe Direct Information Centre in Central Library, Letterkenny, the centre in Ghaoth Dobhair carries out all functions, such as providing information on EU institutions and initiatives, answering queries and staging events through the medium of the Irish language.