The Department of Education has announced €20 million in grants for schools across the country to improve their library catalogues.
The school library book grant is awarded for the purchase of books, audio books, and other media.
The department confirmed that the fund will be paid to schools in the coming weeks and will be based on student numbers for all schools, primary and secondary schools, at the same rate.
Public libraries already provide a range of support for schools under the Public Library Support for Schools jointly agreed by the Department of Education and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Public libraries will also support the introduction of the school library book grant by providing additional measures and resources in two steps.
Step one will consist of webinars open to primary and secondary school representatives.
The first webinars will be held in May and will focus on the practical process of selecting a meaningful book collection for each school, including reading lists developed by Libraries and Children’s Books Ireland and a section on library services supporting schools, using the benefits of Class visits highlight the range of services available, including lesson sets, teacher resources and online resources.
A second series of webinars will take place early next school year and will focus on maximizing the new collection, again linking it to library services and the much broader range of resources libraries can offer to support.
In step two, each library service communicates with the schools in its area and outlines the levels of support that each local library service can offer based on local resources. This begins next school year.
Education Minister Norma Foley said books allow students “to go on magical journeys, to experience new ideas and to open their minds to infinite possibilities”.
“Reading helps develop language and reading skills. It is said that books are uniquely wearable magic and I firmly believe that reading opens up a world of imagination and endless possibilities; They take the reader to places they’ve never been, sparking curiosity, wonder and discussion,” she said.
“Since the 2011 Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and the 2017 Interim Review, significant progress has been made in promoting high levels of literacy, with paper-based and online assessments ranking among the best in any European and OECD country. It’s important to build on this good work and ensure these high standards are maintained.
“Schools receive excellent and expert support from Public Library Supports for Schools to enable them to spend their grant funds in ways that meet the needs of their students. I look forward to seeing our students in reading corners and libraries across Ireland enjoying a great read.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/20m-grant-funding-announced-for-school-libraries-41561371.html 20 million euros in funding for school libraries announced