Wicklow County Council Library Service is taking part in ‘Ireland Reads’ a campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Friday, February 25th.
Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign, which is part of the government’s Healthy Ireland programme and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment.
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, urged everyone to take the time to ‘squeeze in a read’ highlighting the importance of reading for enjoyment, saying “reading is really important to all of us – no matter what age, keeping us mentally active and providing an opportunity for a bit of escapism”.
The pledge to read can be made at www.irelandreads.ie where people can also see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far and sign up for reading reminders.
The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 1,500 recommendations from librarians all around the country for all interests and reading levels.
A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and the website will offer the perfect book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – so anyone can set themselves a challenge if they are finding it hard to get back to reading.
In the run up to Friday February 25th, Library staff in all 13 Wicklow branches will offer in-house events and -times, new Book Clubs, author visits and other activities to welcome everyone back to the library setting where they can linger for a while, return books, renew memberships and maybe join for the first time.
On the day itself, all babies born since 2020 can get their first library card and pick up their My First Library Bag to carry their library items and get set up on the path to being ready to start reading when they start school.
The message from Wicklow Library’s staff for ‘Ireland Reads’ is to look on reading as a pleasurable and relaxing experience and to remind you that reading doesn’t always have to be a solitary experience – read with your children, read to your older relatives, join a book club and make sure to swap recommendations.