“Squeeze in a Read” this Saturday for Ireland Reads Day

Ireland Reads Day is back for the third year as the public is asked to take the pledge and “Squeeze in a Read” this Saturday 25th February.

by Alison O'Hanlon
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This Saturday, the people of Ireland are encouraged to head to their local library and ‘squeeze in a read’ for Ireland Reads Day. Libraries across the country will be hosting a range of events on the day to encourage the public to visit their local library to (re)discover all the services they offer.

The public is invited to visit the Ireland Reads website www.irelandreads.ie and take a pledge to read for a certain number of minutes on the day, whether it’s for 10 minutes, an hour, or even more.

The Ireland Reads website offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available, with more than 1,500 recommendations from librarians all around the country for all interests and reading levels. 

In the last 12 months, Libraries Ireland has seen books that have gone viral on Instagram and TikTok have become hugely popular in this country. Authors such as Coleen Hoover, Bonnie Garmus, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Jodi Picoult, and the autobiography by Jeanette McCurdy have all become popular reading choices for Irish people.

Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development said: “I am delighted to support the Ireland Reads campaign for a third year. This campaign is an important public libraries initiative which celebrates reading for people of all ages and promotes the power of reading for our well-being.

Supporting our libraries is a key priority of mine as Minister for Rural and Community Development. Libraries play a vital role in our communities – providing essential services to people, both young and old. 

I encourage everybody to join me in pledging to set aside some time on Ireland Reads Day, February 25th, to visit your local library to discover the joy of reading or relax with a good book.” 

Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton TD, said: “It is wonderful to see this collaboration between the Libraries Development Unit at the Local Government Management Agency and the government-led Healthy Ireland programme, encouraging people to read more.

Reading is such an excellent way to improve our wellbeing. Helping to reduce stress and increase relaxation, this initiative can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. I’m looking forward to Squeezing in A Read this weekend!”

“This is the third year of Ireland Reads, and each year the initiative has gone from strength to strength,” says Stuart Hamilton, Head of Libraries Development with the Local Government Management Agency. “We saw a huge positive uptick in reading trends throughout the pandemic and thankfully Irish people have kept up this great habit. This year we’re calling on everyone to visit www.irelandreads.ie to pledge time to read and visit their libraries this weekend.”

Across Ireland, there are 330 public libraries with more than 800,000 members, offering a free service to everyone. Ireland’s libraries provide access to a huge national collection of over  12 million books, CDs and DVDs and a wide selection of online resources, including e-books, e-newspapers and e-magazines, all of which is available to all users wherever they are in the country. 

Irish Libraries now also offer BorrowBox, an app which allows members to borrow eBooks and audiobooks for free, with over 60,000 eBooks and 54,000 eAudiobooks to choose from.

Featured image: Eli Rolfe and Paul Van Cauwelaert pictured in Kevin Street Library, Dublin, to celebrate Ireland Reads Day which takes place on Saturday 25th February.

Picture. Robbie Reynolds

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