Libraries’ sweet initiative is ‘Jam’ card

December 30th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey joined county mayor Gillian Coughlan recently to launch the JAM card initiative. (Photo: Colm Lougheed)

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CORK County Council’s library and arts service is now associated with the ‘Jam’ card initiative, a system that allows people with learning difficulties and communication barriers to ask for a minute of patience when they need it.

Developed by the Now group, it is a discreet way of allowing people with any type of communication difficulty to ask for ‘Just A Minute’ of patience as they go about their daily lives.

Following staff training, Cork County Council’s library service has recently received a certificate of accreditation from the Now group. The library service takes pride in providing excellent customer care to all patrons and this new initiative will encourage Jam card users to feel more confident when visiting their local library. Any time a person with a Jam card needs that little bit of extra assistance or time, they can approach a library staff member, present their card, and then relate with trained staff who will give those extra few minutes that may be required.

County mayor Gillian Coughlan said: ‘Cork County Council’s libraries are among the most popular and most important ways that we engage with our communities. They represent the fundamental values of the Council, championing inclusion, support and learning. In adopting the JAM card initiative and engaging in accredited training, our libraries are building on their immense work in ensuring that libraries are welcoming to everyone. This is an opportunity for JAM card users, library staff and the wider community of library users to come together and strengthen local community bonds.”

Cork county librarian Emer O’Brien said: ‘We pride ourselves on continuously testing our services to make sure they are as accessible and barrier free to everyone who wants to engage with our library staff and our services. The card is another very important step for us.’

The Jam card is available free of charge to anyone who needs it at

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