Ireland Reads explained
What is Ireland Reads?
Ireland Reads is a campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Friday, February 25th.
Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign which aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment.
The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Friday, February 25.
Why is reading important?
For children, of course, it has a huge positive impact on their cognitive development and literacy.
For adults, studies have found that reading for pleasure enhances empathy, understanding of the self, and is effective in combatting loneliness.
Reading offers a way to escape and keep mentally active, and to lift our mood, and it doesn’t have to be a solitary experience – you can read with your kids of course, or you might use reading to connect with friends and family. Maybe through a book club, or just swapping recommendations.
How can people join in the campaign?
It doesn’t matter how long you read for or what you read, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader, a reluctant reader, a lapsed reader or a new reader, this campaign is for you.
Take the pledge to read at irelandreads.ie
Visit www.irelandreads.ie to pledge to read on ‘Ireland Reads’ Day, February 25th, sign up for reading reminders, and check to see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far.
Get a book recommendation at irelandreads.ie
The Ireland Reads website also offers book recommendations, suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 1,500 recommendations from librarians all around the country.
A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and the website will offer a suitable book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – so you can set yourself a reading challenge if you want – a couch to 5k for books!
Attend an event
Campaign partners and libraries all over the country will be running ‘Ireland Reads’ initiatives and events throughout February in the build up to Friday, February 25th. You can get details at irelandreads.ie.
Share on social media
Please use #IrelandReads or #SqueezeInARead and share your pledge to read on social media or tell others about your favorite books, recommended reads or the book that got you through Covid.
Who is involved in the campaign?
The Ireland Reads campaign is a collaboration led by the Libraries Development Unit at the Local Government Management Agency, and part of the Healthy Ireland programme.
As well as all public libraries, partners in the campaign include RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Bookselling Ireland, Publishing Ireland, Childrens Books Ireland, the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), the Arts Council, and the National Library of Ireland.
A number of campaign ambassadors are on board to help promote the campaign, including:
- Joe Duffy, broadcaster and author
- Marian Keyes, author
- Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the United States of America
- Áine Ní Ghlinn, Laureate na nÓg
- Liz Nugent, author
- Melatu-Uche Okorie
- Rick O’Shea, RTE broadcaster and presenter
- Dave Rudden, author
- Colm Tóibín, author and Laureate for Irish Fiction
- Sarah Webb, author
You can find out what reading means to them and why they think it is important at IrelandReads.ie
How can people access books?
Library members can borrow from 12 million items or choose from and download from thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines online.
We’re also encouraging people to support their local bookshops. They have had a really tough time throughout Covid and have done all they can to keep going, keep taking orders and keep people stocked up with books. You’ll find a link to a map of bookshops on IrelandReads.ie
And Ireland Reads is not just about books – if you want to read a magazine, a newspaper or a comic, that’s great too!
Can schools get involved?
We would love schools and teachers to get involved. You can download a resources pack to help promote Ireland Reads in your school at irelandreads.ie.
If you would like to pledge reading time on behalf of your class, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the total.
Can early learning and care settings get involved?
The Little Libraries programme is a collaboration between libraries and the Department of Children through which libraries engage with early learning and care setting (ELCs).
Little Libraries is getting involved in Ireland Reads by hosing events to which ELC classes will be invited.
If your ELC would like to pledge reading time, you can email email@example.com.
Is this campaign just about library books?
No! We are encouraging people to support local bookshops too. You’ll find a link on the Ireland Reads website to a map where you can find your local bookshop and how to order from it.
Most people have that book or pile of books they’ve been meaning to get around to or that old favorite comfort read you keep returning to – what better time than now!
The creative behind the campaign
We’re asking everyone to ‘Squeeze in a read’ on February 25th and well known illustrator Tara O’Brien took that idea and created some lovely illustrations, showing people of all ages enjoying taking the time to read in some unusual places – squeezed into drawers, under beds, in cupboards …
And if you do need something to keep the kids busy while you’re reading, we have turned some of Tara’s illustrations into a lovely colouring book – also available at irelandreads.ie
Brigid Fitzgerald, Head of Media and Communications, Local Government Management Agency
087-6522527 / firstname.lastname@example.org