Roderic O’ Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, together with Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development, launched My Little Library 2023. This initiative, funded through Dormant Accounts Funding, offers a free book bag with storybooks for children and supportive information for parents for all children starting school in September 2023.
The aim of the initiative is that all children will start school with storybooks in their homes and as members of their local library.
This year’s initiative builds on the success of My Little Library 2022 when over 46,000 book bags were distributed to children starting school, in their local library. The initiative resulted in over 37,000, 4 and 5-year-old children joining the library.
Speaking about My Little Library 2023, Minister O’Gorman said, “I am delighted to announce the second year of the First 5 – My Little Library book bag for all the boys and girls leaving pre-school and starting school later this year. I hope that all the families with children starting school will visit their local library and pick up their My Little Library book bag and join the library for a life time of stories and reading. Thanks to our wonderful libraries across the country for partnering with us on this important initiative.”
Minister Humphreys added, “it is great to see the My Little Library initiative go from strength to strength with the support of the library service. Parents signing their children up as library members are giving them a gift that will last a lifetime.”
Monaghan County Librarian and Chair of the Public Library National Strategic Programmes Committee, Catherine Elliott said, “local authority public libraries are delighted to be delivering the My Little Library Book Bag initiative for the second year. We look forward to welcoming all of the 4 and 5-year-old children starting school and their families in to collect their book bags and discover the benefits of library membership. Reading is so important for personal development and supporting children as they grow. We hope that our new cohort of library members and their families will come back regularly to refill their book bags and take part in all the events and activities we have on offer at the library.”