What is Right to Read:

Carlow County Library Service is delighted to champion the Right to Read programme. Your local library is open almost every day to provide what you or, perhaps, somebody you know, needs to improve reading, writing, maths and technology skills. We know that improving people’s literacy can have huge benefits for individuals, families and communities.


Here are some of the initiatives that we have introduced for children and families:

Pre-School Children (0-5 years):

  • Storytime at the library:Spring into Storytime sessions in all library branches and regular Storytime sessions in our Carlow library branch. These are held at 11o’clock on Saturday mornings and includes picture book stories, rhymes and poems and action songs.
  • Storytime Fun:This is a new initiative for preschools in partnership with the Carlow County Childcare Committee. The Library Service provides packs of picture books on loan. Each pack is based on one of the following four themes:wellbeing; exploring and thinking; communicating and identity and belonging. At the Storytime Fun session, one of our library staff delivers a pack of books and hosts a short storytelling session. After about 4 to 6 weeks there is a follow-up session with more storytelling and a different pack of books.
  • Story Ninja Challenge – running until June:

Primary-School Children (5-12 years):

  • Book Ninja Challenge – running until June:
  • Summer Stars Reading Challenge (July and August):TSummer Stars is a national programme open to all primary school children. Each child who registers for the programme at their local library will join in the fun by reading lots of exciting books.
    We give the children their own Summer Stars reading card to record their progress and add a Summer Stars reward stamp to their card for each book that they read.We also provide fun rewards along the way and hold a Celebration Night in October, when we give participants a medal to recognise their reading achievement over the summer months.
  • Children’s Book Festival (October):Children’s Book Festival is a national celebration of children’s books, stories and reading. It includes interesting events including workshops, talks, storytime sessions and visits from authors.
  • CLASS Project (Carlow Library Aistear Support for Schools):This is a new Aistear-based project targeting junior and senior infant classes. Picture books are provided to children in the classroom relating to the themes they are exploring in class. The library is also introduced to teachers as a theme, involving: a fun visit to the library where the children act as librarians; providing the class teacher with a lesson plan and materials about the library; and a follow-up visit by library staff to the school.

New Library Collections:

As part of the libraries’ commitment, we have developed the following collections. These are dedicated, easily identifiable collections in both children’s and adult sections of library branches including:

  • Pre-schools diversity, equality and inclusion programme: We can provide packs for block loan to pre-schools. These are based on book lists provided by the Carlow County Childcare Committee and all titles have been checked to make sure they are suitable.
  • Parenting collection: A collection of books, library material and information leaflets and packs from network partners on effective and informed parenting. There are items suitable for adults and children.
  • Inclusion:Each library has child-centred books and other material such as CDs about autism, visual impairment, hearing impairment, being housebound and coping with other life-changing events.
  • Irish language collection:We have expanded our Irish Language collection for children and families.

The Right to Read Programme is based on six important elements:

Incorporating Right to Read into local authority plans. A commitment to the Right to Read programme will be included in:

  • the Carlow County Council Development Plan
  • the Local Economic and Community Plan

Specific initiatives and targets from the programme will also be included in:

  • relevant County Council sectoral plans as appropriate
  • future Carlow County Library Development Plans

Having a Literacy Action Plan

  • A Literacy Action Plan will be prepared each year which will support and lead literacy development throughout Carlow County Council
  • The County Librarian will champion this plan

Working through our Right to Read literacy network

  • Our Right to Read Network links representatives from Carlow County Council services and local groups who want to promote and improve literacy
  • Together, we will identify areas in need of support, share ideas and work to produce and achieve the actions in our Literacy Action Plan

Working together on the Plan

  • Through our local network members, county council departments, and programme participants we will work to ensure that Right to Read has effective and sustainable policies and continues to provide a programme of services that will improve literacy

Having clear communications about literacy

  • The programme will raise awareness of how Carlow County Council supports literacy and of the events and programmes we provide to improve literacy skills.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • As part of the Literacy Action Plan, the Library Service and the network will monitor and evaluate the Right to Read programme each year. It will publish a yearly progress report.