Children’s Book Festival Month is about to start – and this year I am doing the rounds of some of the libraries, courtesy of among others the Kildare County Council, Meath County Council and Kilkenny County Council. I think in total I will visit 18 libraries and two schools!
What is good about these visits, for me, is that each group of children you get is different. They have different questions, different concerns and different interests – so you never have time to get bored. It is also very useful as a writer to engage with so many different readers because it helps you to see what’s working and what’s not, what amuses or frustrates them.
I have written previously about the librarians in Ireland and the work they do, but will just reiterate that – each different library I have visited has struck me as being so much more than a library. They have become community centres, places for reading, learning and meeting up. Parent and child groups, pensioners learning IT skills, homework places, cultural groups – and still, above all, a place to read and choose books. We are absolutely privileged here to have access to these places and should treasure them.