Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading tomorrow (Thursday). Kerry Library has teamed up with libraries nationwide and some local authors for the campaign, which is part of the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ initiative and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for well-being and enjoyment.

The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, and a dedicated website www.irelandreads.ie has been set up where people can pledge to read on the day.

The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country.

A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and in return get a suitable book suggestion and with an estimate of how long it will take to read – a ‘Couch to 5k’ for books!

Here’s just some of what is planned at Kerry Library www.kerrylibrary.ie:

· Book clubs go online: Kerry Library is delighted to be able to facilitate online book club meetings and your book club can get involved from the comfort of home by simply downloading an e-book or e-audio book from Borrow Box and starting to read! Contact onlinequeries@kerrylibrary.ie if you need help.

· ‘Squeeze in a Read’: To celebrate the Ireland Reads campaign library staff have pledged to read extracts from their favourite books.

· Get to know a local author: Up and coming author Emma Larkin has recently published two wonderful books for children – Izzy’s Adventure series. The theme of the books is to encourage girls to play sport while also having a fun magical element. Catch up with Emma on the library Facebook page as she chats about her love of books, writing and libraries.

· Éire ag léamh : Join library staff tomorrow for children’s storytime as Gaeilge – ag léamh as Cosc ar Chrogaill! le Heather Pindar.

· Pledge to read a paper: Not in the mood for a book or just don’t have time at the moment? No problem! Why not take some time out to read a newspaper or magazine instead. The Kerry library website provides free member access to thousands of the world’s most popular newspapers and magazines. If you need help just go to the library Facebook page for a step by step tutorial to help get you started.

A number of well-known campaign ambassadors from the worlds of writing, science, sport, health and broadcasting are on board to help promote the campaign and you can find out what reading means to them and why they support the campaign at www.irelandreads.ie.

Patrick O’Connor Scarteen, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council is urging the people of Kerry to join the initiative and is asking that during this month to “please pledge to take some reading time for yourself or to share with family and look up the Kerry Library website to see the wide range of resources that are available free of charge”.
“Libraries may be closed at present but their excellent online services are still available,” he said.

Kerry County Librarian, Tommy O’Connor, in support of the campaign says that ‘it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader, a reluctant reader, a lapsed reader or a new reader but to use Ireland Reads Day to use some of the available library online sources.

“Right now, many of the activities we used to take for granted are not available to us, but you can always enjoy a good book, newspaper or magazine,” he said.

Kerry Library provides e-books, e-audio, e-newspapers, e-magazines, e-learning courses, e-languages and e-comics on its website www.kerrylibrary.ie.

Find out about all that is happening for Ireland Reads, get book recommendations and take the pledge to read at www.irelandreads.ie.