From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Published on 8 June 2023
Last updated on 7 June 2023
Roderic O’ Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, together with Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today launched #MyLittleLibrary2023. 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 today 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 lifetime 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”.
The First 5 Little Library Initiative 2023 will:
Provide a First 5 - 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 information for parents in each bag to support children prepare for the next stage of their learning journey.
Offer book bags in Irish and English.
The First 5 Little Library Initiative is funded under Dormant Accounts Funding. It delivers on one of the many actions under First 5: the whole-of-Government strategy to improve the lives of babies, young children, and their families. This ten-year plan aims to ensure all children in Ireland have positive early experiences and get a great start in life. Find out more at https://first5.gov.ie/about-first-5