Dundalk Library celebrates World Book Day to promote literacy in young people

Dundalk Library

Aine Kenny

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Aine Kenny

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ainekenny96@gmail.com

Dundalk Library celebrates World Book Day to promote literacy in young people

Dundalk Library are celebrating World Book Day today.

There will be a storytelling event in the library at 3.30pm. All are welcome to attend, and there is no charge. This will be the 22nd World Book Day, and it is Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting literature and a love of reading.

Mary from the Dundalk Library says that they had other plans for the event, which was due to occur a week ago. “We originally had Louth author Erika McGann for the storytelling event but that was cancelled due to the snow,” Mary says sadly. “However, we are looking to reschedule that within the next week or ten days.”

Mary says that staff at the library are working hard to promote literacy in young people. “We want to promote a love of reading right from birth,” Mary says. “We have a baby book club so children are used to reading with their parents from a very early age.”

“In April we are launching ‘Spring into Storytime’. We want to go back to basic with parents, teach them how to sit down with their children and make a routine of reading bed time stories,” Mary explains. “We want to encourage a love of reading… it makes a real difference in the relationship between parents and child, and it opens people’s minds.”

“People really enjoy the events we put on, our baby book club is very popular, and the parents are keen to get their children reading,” adds Mary.

“We also have reading lists for older children who might have finished all the books by their favourite author, and we steer them in the direction of another author we are sure they will love,” Mary says. “We are also hoping to advance our plans to connect with a teen audience by setting up a Facebook page aimed at them,” she reveals.

“We also link in with schools, and we have our summer reading programme which is very successful,” Mary says. “This offers incentives to the children who read, by giving them a medal and a certificate… the programme keeps growing, we had our highest number ever last year.”

Meanwhile, Word Book Day continues to promote a love of literacy through various campaigns it has launched this year.

Primary school children can enter a competition to design a bookmark and have the chance to win up to £500 worth of National Book Tokens for their school, £200 worth of tokens for themselves and £200 worth of tokens for their teacher.  Visit the World Book Day website (worldbookday.com/play-and-win/competitions) to download a template, and for terms and conditions. The deadline for this competition is Friday the 13th of April 2018.

Secondary school students are encouraged to build up World Book Day’s online presence. A new social media campaign called #ShareAStory is being launched. Young adult readers are encouraged to take a picture of the front cover of their favourite book and post it on their preferred social media channel, using the hashtag #ShareAStory.

Teenage readers are also encouraged to set up a Young Adult book club with their friends, and to meet at the same time and place once a week or month. Each book club member should read the same book and give it a score out of 100. Bookclubbers are also encouraged to invite guest speakers to their meetings, whether it be a librarian, English teacher or local author. Bookclubbers can also use social media to blog about the books they recommend and to upload photos of their events. This way, book lovers everywhere can get recommendations.