…for the past number of years, [the National Library of Ireland’s] funding has slowly been dwindling. Its staff numbers have dropped by a considerable percentage. And a lack of suitable preservation technology means that in the back of the staff members’ minds is that should something catastrophic take place – like a fire – important documents could be lost forever.
“Our cutbacks have been in the region of about 40% since 2008, and we had come last year to rock bottom in terms of our ability to function,” she [acting director Catherine Fahy] tells TheJournal.ie. “Thankfully, the Department [of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht] did give us an extra grant this year after the budget.”
Another huge thing affecting the NLI is the severely reduced staff numbers. “Even in 2011 we had 104, and this year we are down to 80,” outlines Fahy. That number could be further reduced to 76.
Looking ahead to 2015, aside from the constant funding and staffing challenges, the NLI is focusing on its output: playing a role in the Yeats 2015 festival (its own Yeats exhibition, running since 2006, will be refreshed); refreshing its World War 1 exhibition; and digitising parish registers are amongst this year’s highlights.
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