Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, today announced the roll-out of the First 5 My Little Library Initiative.
The initiative will see more than 60,000 children starting school in September invited to collect a free book bag and join their local library, with participating children and their parents receiving an invitation in the coming days.
The First 5 My Little Library Initiative will:
- Provide a My Little Library book bag to every child starting school in September for collection in libraries across the country.
- Offer free library membership, with a specially designed Little Library card wallet, for the children.
- Encourage free membership and use of the library to all children and adults in the family.
- Include transition information for parents with each bag to support children on their learning journey.
- Offer book bags in Irish and English.
Speaking about the project, Minister O’Gorman said:
I’m delighted to announce the roll-out of the First 5 ‘My Little Library’ initiative, inviting children to join their local library before they start school in September, and encouraging a new generation on a life-long love of reading and stories.
Children’s books open really important pathways to learning about friendship, love and adventure, and allow children to expand their worlds with wonder and curiosity. By introducing children to reading at an early age, we can help to inspire young minds and open them up to a world of possibilities.
The project is a collaboration between the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), local authorities and the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA).
Invitations for parents and children to My Little Library and other information on supporting transitions available on the Let’s Get Ready page on Gov.ie
Welcoming the Initiative, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, said:
As Minister with responsibility for public libraries, I am delighted to support this initiative. Libraries offer access to worlds of creativity, imagination and fun.
This delivery of the First 5 My Little Library initiative through the 330 public libraries around the country will open these worlds up to every family with a child starting school. It will also promote early language and literacy development which is crucial for children’s success at the start of their education journey and beyond.
Colette Byrne, Kilkenny County Council Chief Executive and Chair of the LGMA Libraries Development Committee said:
Local authority public libraries are delighted to be involved in the First 5 My Little Library initiative and we can’t wait to welcome all the 4 and 5 year old children in to collect their book bags and begin their library membership journey. Reading is so beneficial for learning, imagination and creativity, and stories can really help children to understand and deal with the steps they take as they grow, like starting school. We hope that once they visit the library to pick up their book bag, our new library members and their families will come back regularly to keep their bag filled up with borrowed books and to take part in storytimes, classes and all the other events we have to offer at the library.
The distribution of the First 5 My Little Library is being managed by the Local Government Management Agency, with book bags and resources to issue to libraries from today, ready to be collected by parents and children from Monday April 4th.