Library visits October

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.

Kilkenny Library, one of the Carnegie Libraries – photographed by Brendan Grimes


4 responses to “Library visits October

  1. I totally agree about libraries being more than just libraries! I sat reading in my local library last week and looking around, felt that same sense of community you mention – a real sense of learning together (despite different needs and interests of the groups – older people, cultural groups, kids clubs, etc) – something I wish could be more readily-available in places like my native Zambia. I look forward to reading about your visits during October. Have fun!

    • Thanks Chipo – yes you are right, would be brilliant if there were more of these in Zambia. Perhaps you know of the initiative recently by Prof. Tembo in creating and stocking the Nkhanga library – I have a post on it on the blog.

  2. I’ve only just seen your post about the Nkhanga library project. A noble work! I’m encouraged. Replicating that across the country, which I notice is one of the aims of Prof Mwizenge and the team at ZANOBA, will be key to giving people so much – least of all, access to enjoy the pleasures of reading.

  3. True – it is an inspiring project and hopefully will be replicated.

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