We help children to develop a love of reading through our book collections, events and festivals including the Summer Reading Challenge and Children's Book Fest...

Children | Leanáí

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All our library locations have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books to suit all ages and interests, as well as DVDs and audio books. The Children's and Teens' Library, Grand Parade and Blackpool Library have separate children's libraries.

The reading needs of children vary depending on their age. Parents please note that your child's safety and behaviour remain your responsibility while they are in the library.

Stories From Birth

At Cork City Libraries we aim to support early reading experiences as exposure to books, stories and rhymes from as young an age as possible lays an important foundation for literacy development and the creation of lifelong readers. With this in mind we have no minimum joining age and encourage parents of new babies to start reading to their children from the earliest stages. This will not only give your child a great start on the road to becoming a reader in his own right, it will also give parent and child a special experience where you can share quality time together.

Sharing stories and rhymes with infants and young children can help them develop verbal skills and use of their imagination, and prepares them for when they begin more formally to learn to read in school.

Young children love repetition and if they have a favourite story they will enjoy having it read many times. This process allows them to remember the words until they get to a point where they feel they are reading the story themselves. Don't underestimate the value of this in giving your young child the confidence, and an understanding of books, that will see them succeed when they begin to learn to read more formally.

Learning To Read

Once your child starts Primary School they will begin to read in a formal setting. It is important to keep reading as a fun activity at home- it should not be seen by the child as hard work.

You can support your child by borrowing books from the library that match your child’s reading level. In the learning to read stage these books tend to be very short, with just a few words on each page. A range of reading schemes is available to support children building reading confidence. Make time every night to help your child practice his newly developing reading skills. At this age even ten minutes every night can really help your child to develop strong reading skills.

Confident Readers

Once your child can read independently we have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction to suit all interests. At this point if you feel your child is not interested in reading bring him to the library and get him to look at books around his hobbies and interests.

Every summer we run a Summer Reading Challenge to encourage children to keep reading during their school holidays. Children get special booklets to keep track of what they are reading and medals are awarded to anyone who finishes the challenge.

Recommended Reads

Cork City Libraries recognises that access to books is an essential right that should be afforded to every child. High quality fiction and non-fiction stock is at the heart of our service provision. Our knowledgeable staff are familiar with stock and can assist with book selection. 

Books can be used to help children deal with life issues. Stories can be a gentle way to talk to children about serious subjects and to help them cope with stressful situations. These books can be used to let children know they are not alone in what they face. Our bibliotherapy lists offer a starting point if you are looking for stories or non-fiction books that will help a child to understand a particular issue.

Learning Resources

We aim to support children’s educational needs by providing access to a high quality stock of fiction and non-fiction that both compliments the school curriculum and reflects the interests and hobbies of this age group.

Local Primary Schools can avail of regular class visits and are also invited to attend events throughout the school year. The teacher’s class card allows teachers to borrow up to 35 items to use with students in the classroom.

The library offers spaces for children to do homework and research school projects, and for exam students to study. We provide access, with parental permission, to the internet. The library is an active learning space with workshops and events that stimulate learning and support the curriculum needs and leisure interests of children and young people.

Events, Initiatives and Programmes

We provide book-centred programmes and events for children and families. These events stimulate the imagination and encourage a lifelong love of reading. Through author visits, story-telling sessions, creative workshops and more we ensure that our libraries continue to feed children’s curiosity and imaginations. Our Children’s Book Festival is a month long celebration and promotion of children’s books and stories.

During the summer months children are invited to take part in our citywide summer reading challenge. Coder Dojo groups meet in a number of our libraries offering 8 – 18 year olds the opportunity to access free coding workshops. We aim to inspire children to read more, to write more, to draw more, and to visit libraries more often.