National Library promises a more inclusive ‘story of Ireland’
2018-06-15 13:11:08 -
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  The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has pledged action to reflect today’s more diverse and inclusive society in its collections. 
By Staff Reporter 
 
  In partnership with the Creative Ireland programme, the NLI says it will work with groups who are underrepresented in national narratives, or whose culture is at risk of not being preserved for future generations.
 
  The commitment is laid out in the library’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2018-2021, recently launched by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.
“Since its foundation more than 140 years ago, the National Library has had the unique responsibility of building our national collections and sharing the story of Ireland with the world,” said NLI director Dr Sandra Collins. “Over that time, Ireland has changed and evolved, and social norms and the makeup of Irish society look very different now from 50 years ago.
 
  “With the publication of this policy today, we want to challenge ourselves to ensure that we reflect this change and the diversity in what it means to be Irish. How we collect today will shape the story of Ireland in the future, and how we engage with and present the national collections influences how people connect with their culture and heritage.
 
  “The library has always been committed to equality and our doors are open to all, and we are very excited to make this commitment today and to invite interested organisations to work with us,” Dr Collins added.
 
  Supported by Creative Ireland, the NLI will undertake a diversity and inclusion pilot project till the end of 2019. Funding of €15,000 will be provided by Minister Madigan’s department and matched by the NLI, amounting to a total of €30,000.
 
  The project begins with a roundtable event in September to consult with minority groups about capturing and sharing more diverse aspects of the story of Ireland in the longer term.
 
  “As Ireland’s library of record, it is important that the National Library’s collections and activities represent Ireland in all its diversity, and that it provides equal access for everybody,” said Minister Madigan.
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