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Little Library: Early Learning Centre Literacy project

My Little Library Book Bags for all children starting school this year


To help children to navigate starting school, libraries have put together a bag of books just for them that can be collected at any library.

The ‘My Little Library Book Bag’ 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.

As part of the initiative, a ‘My Little Library Book Bag’ is available free for every child starting school in 2023 to help them to prepare for this big step. Children and their parents or guardians can collect the bags at any library throughout the country from Thursday the 8th of June 2023.

Each My Little Library Book Bag contains:

  • Three books on starting school, making friends and being comfortable to be yourself
  • A story card on going to the library
  • A postcard the child can write or draw on and send to their new teacher, or bring to give to the teacher on their first day at school
  • Their very own library card and special ‘My Little Library’ cardholder

Book bags are available in both Irish and English.

Kilkenny Libraries can’t wait to welcome all the 4 and 5 year old children in to collect their book bags and begin their library membership journey.

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 and to take part in storytimes, classes and all the other events we have to offer at the library.

 The First 5 Little Library Initiative 2023 will:

  • provide a First 5 - My Little Library book bag to every child starting school in September for collection in libraries across the country
  • offer free library membership, with a specially designed Little Library card wallet, for the children
  • encourage free membership and use of the library to all children and adults in the family
  • include information for parents in each bag to support children prepare for the next stage of their learning journey
  • offer book bags in Irish and English

The First 5 Little Library Initiative is funded under Dormant Accounts Funding. It delivers on one of the many actions under First 5: the whole-of-government strategy to improve the lives of babies, young children and their families. This ten-year plan aims to ensure all children in Ireland have positive early experiences and get a great start in life.