Friday 18 December 2015

Young Kilrush Reader features in European Exhibition

Last July, Clare County Library was contacted by the Libraries Development Unit of the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) with details of a European literacy project they were involved with, in association with the European Literacy Policy Network, Elinet. Established in February 2014, the European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET) unifies 78 partner organisations from 28 European countries (including 24 EU member states) engaged in literacy policy-making and reading promotion in Europe. One of the strands of the project was to develop a European literacy learners’ photo exhibition which would go on display in Brussels in the Autumn and here is where Clare County Library became involved. The requested input from Ireland was a photo of a child library user and a letter he/she would write to say thanks for helping them with reading and writing, and the staff of Kilrush Library knew just the person.

Nine year old Sarah Blunnie is an avid reader and a regular library visitor to Kilrush Public Library and her letter to her local librarian now features in Elinet’s display in Brussels. Sarah outlines in her letter why it is it important to read and write and thanks the staff of Kilrush Library for their help and inspiration.

Here is what she wrote;

Dear Librarian,

My name is Sarah and I am nine years old. I look forward to going to the library every week. I love getting out new books and moving on to the more complicated ones. I think it is very important for everyone to learn to read and write. It helps me at school, at home and when I am out and about. You give me all the information I need on books and activities taking place in the library. Thank you for encouraging me to join the book club, I really like it.

Ireland’s entry is one of nine billboards making up the literacy awareness exhibition currently on display in Brussels featuring a photograph of Sarah and her letter to her local library. It now fittingly takes its place among entries from nine other European countries.

Clare County Library is proud to be part of this positive literacy promotion opportunity in the headquarters of the European Union. Helen Walsh, County Librarian, stated that “Clare County Library has consistently maintained over the years a strong focus on literacy development among children through its various book centred programmes such as the Summer Reading Challenge and the Children’s Book Festival. The Libraries Development Unit specifically chose Clare County Library to represent this literacy strand because it recognized its proven track record and accomplishments in this area.” She concluded that “Clare County Library is committed to making reading an enjoyable and worthwhile pastime as is evidenced by the numbers of books issued to children in 2014, which accounted for 46% of all book issues. We are delighted that Sarah has become the face of reading and literacy on such a global stage”

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