Laois Libraries have announced a new initiative that will see every child starting school in September receiving a free Little Library Book Bag.
To help children navigate starting school, libraries have put together a bag of books especially for them that can be collected at any library.
The initiative is a collaboration between libraries, the Department of Rural and Community Development, and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as part of the First 5 Strategy.
The initiative will provide a My Little Library book bag to every child starting school in September for collection in the library.
It will also offer free library membership with a specially designed Little Library card wallet for the child, encourage free membership and use of the library for all children and adults in the family and include transition information for parents with each bag to support children on their learning journey. The book bags are available in either Irish or English.
Parents can call into their nearest branch library and will be asked to sign a consent form and show a valid ID in order to get their child signed up as a new library member.
The child will then receive their Little Library book bag containing 3 library books, a story card about going to the library, a postcard the child can write or draw on and give to their new teacher on the first day of school and their very own library card in a special Little Library wallet.
The stories in the bags are about starting school, being happy in yourself and making friends. Library membership is free for everyone!
There are 8 branch libraries in Laois located in Portlaoise, Portarlington, Mountmellick, Abbeyleix, Mountrath, Stradbally, Rathdowney and Durrow. Visit laoislibraries.ie for opening times and contact details for each library.
Laois Libraries say they can’t wait to welcome all the 4 and 5 year old children in to collect their book bags and begin their library membership journeys.
A spokesperson said: “We hope that once they visit the library to pick up their book bag, our new library members and their families will come back regularly to keep their bag filled up with borrowed books.
“Also to take part in storytimes, classes and all the other events we have to offer at the library.”