Seán Kyne T.D., the Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, today (Monday), officially launched the Summer Stars Reading Adventure 2018 in Oranmore Library, County Galway.
The National Summer Stars Reading Adventure 2018 is part of the national Right-to-Read literacy campaign. The programme is in the third year of implementation and the initial focus of the campaign is on services to support children and families. Key elements of the Right to Read service currently include a network of local partners supporting and co-operating in literacy and reading development activities and a series of annual reading activities including Spring into Storytime, Summer Stars and Children’s Book Festival.
Minister Kyne encouraged all children to take part in this wonderful initiative stating: “Summer Stars aims to enhance and develop literacy and numeracy skills among our young people. But it also fosters a love of reading and provides a valuable outreach programme through public libraries.”
The initiative continues to grow in popularity with more than 54,000 children taking part in 2017. The Minister added: “I am confident that the Summer Stars Reading Adventure 2018 will be a big success across the country and will provide our young children with hours of fun and entertainment over the summer, equipping them with skills to support them throughout their lives.”
Minister Kyne congratulated Minister Ring on the recent launch of the new five-year Public Library Strategy, Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities. Acknowledging the ambitious strategy, Minister Kyne said: “This is a very exciting time for the public library service. With over 17 million visits to public libraries in 2017, the Strategy aims to improve access, use and visibility of the library as a community hub, and develop the library as a focal point for community and cultural development.”
The Minister added that libraries also now “have a vast collection of online resources with more than 400 eLearning and 80 online language courses, over 19,000 eBooks and 10,000 audio books, and 300 international magazine titles and 1,300 newspapers.”
The Minister also added that as Minister of State with special responsibility for digital development he was delighted to see that the new Strategy also commits to enhancing the digital capacity across the library service by developing digital learning centres in all suitable libraries, enhancing digital capacity and services, and developing high-quality services for all.