Reading matters - why our children need libraries


As Children’s Books Ireland launch a survey into the state of school libraries – which had their funding cut in 2008 - Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson addresses how important it is for all children to have access to books.

Everyone knows it. I know it. You know it. Your children’s teachers know it. Researchers in the field of education and child development certainly know it. The Department of Education most especially knows it.

If all our children are to get a slightly fairer crack of the educational whip, they need access to books that they are going to want to read.

This is what we know. Reading books for pleasure – not just textbooks, not just books that have to be ‘done’ in class, but real books like novels and picture books and information books and books about football and adventure and family life and friendship and exploration and magic and history and mysteries and heroes and space and circuses and and and and… opens children’s minds, sparks their imagination, gives them access to new thoughts and amazing ideas. more...