Get Between the Covers

Clare Champion, Friday, 22nd February, 2002

Get between the covers! That's the message being put about by Clare County Library who have launched a number of new programmes aimed at increasing awareness of the library services on offer to children and young adults and actively encouraging reading among children and parents alike.

Free library membership is now open to primary school students in Clare and application forms will issue shortly to the Principal of each primary school in the county. Clare County Library is delighted with this initiative and invite children who are not already members to return the forms to their local library to avail of free membership.

Another initiative is the Babies Love Books Project. Organised jointly by the Library Association of Ireland and Clare County Library, it means parents will receive a Babies Love Books pack on attending their children's nine month check-up at the local clinic. Each pack contains a selection of picture and board books ideally suited for little hands to feel, touch and play with, in addition to listening to the stories they contain read by parents. Packs also contain an instruction leaflet for parents offering guidelines on how to bring books alive for their children. The aim of the project is to support and encourage parents to make book sharing a habit and to help parents build the foundations for Literacy with their children. Library personnel hope that as a result of the project families will make use of their local library on a continued basis and enjoy choosing from the varied bookstock on offer in all fifteen branches throughout the county.

Get Caught Reading is another new project. It's a photography competition for children and young adults designed to mark World Book Day on Thursday, March 14th. This day has been designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. Young Photographers aged ten to fourteen can enter the competition. First, second and third prizes in the children's and teenagers' category will be awarded for the most original reading situation photographed. Children are being asked to come up with the most unusual, inspiring, secretive place or situation in which they would like to get caught reading or to phogograph somebody else in a similar situation. Each photograph must have a suitable accompanying caption. Entrants must supply their name, address, school, age and telephone number with each photograph. Photoworld at Parnell Street in Ennis and International Education Services, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, are sponsoring prizes in both categories and entries will be judged by award-winning Clare Champion photographers, Eamon Ward and John Kelly, and by Clare County Council photographer, Gerry Leddin. All photographs will be displayed in the de Valera Library, Ennis, from March 14th and winning entries will appear on Clare County Library's website. Photographs should be sent to Patricia Fitzgerald, Clare County Library Headquarters, Mill Road, Ennis, to arrive on or before February 28th.

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