Reader in Residence
Dublin City Public Libraries are committed to developing the role of the library as a centre for culture, with programmes and projects that meet individual and community needs. As part of the Dublin North East Inner City Initiative, Dublin City Libraries, through the office of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, is extending its already successful Reader-in-Residence programme.
Readers in Residence have been carefully chosen to lead book-based activities in libraries and primary schools of the north east inner city. These activities will be tailored by the Readers to suit different age groups and ability levels.
The Reader-in Residence programme is a fun and exciting way of providing opportunities for positive engagement with libraries and reading for children and their families.
Contact Dublin UNESCO City of Literature for more details
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT OUR READERS IN RESIDENCE
Ruth has always been an avid reader with Harry Potter opening the gateway to the magical world of books for her at a young age. Ruth completed a MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD specialising in Irish Children’s historical fiction. After interning with Children’s Books Ireland, she fulfilled her dream of becoming one of their Book Doctors and is a regular reviewer for both their annual reading guide and their magazine Inis. Ruth was the children’s section manager and buyer at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop in Galway establishing their popular Book Clubs for 9-11 year olds, annual Harry Potter celebration, Christmas Book Show and their Primary and Secondary schools outreach programme, as well as hosting their ever popular Saturday morning storytime. Ruth is delighted to take on the role of Reader in Residence and is a firm believer that there is no such thing as a child who hates books, they simply haven’t found the right one yet.
What I’ve been up to:
The past six months have been packed full of all kind of book-related excitement and I have spoken to over 300 children about books and reading! Helping children who are reluctant readers to embrace books and explore new genres, seeing a class really hooked on a story and watching as they experienced the magic of the library have been the types of experiences that have been exceptionally rewarding.
I visited classrooms once a week with all sessions lasting 45 minutes to an hour. This time consisted of reading extracts from longer books or entire picture books. A creative activity to compliment the theme of the books was then used as a further fun exploration of topics or themes broached in the books. Every class was brought on a trip to the library where they took part in a treasure hunt to learn different library skills and received their own library card.
In our sessions we have read about a boy who likes to EAT books in The a Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers, helped characters to escape from a book in This Book Just Ate my Dog by Richard Byrne and learned the magic of colours in Herve Tullet’s Mix It Up. We have checked if our teachers are vampires with Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty and Chris Judge, laughed at stinky Mr Gum by Andy Stanton and been spooked by Help! My Brother is a Zombie by Annie Graves. We have been gripped by The Uncommoners by Jennifer Bell, followed Barnaby Brockett by John Boyne on his adventures around the world, and even learned about the power of being green in Frank Cottrell Boyce’s The Astounding Broccoli Boy.
We have designed our own bookmarks, made friendship bracelets, created dinosaur masks, wrote about our role models, held imaginary friend auditions and brewed magic potions.Some lucky first class students even got to go to a very special event with Children’s Books Ireland and Chris Haughton about his award-winning book Goodnight Everyone. We have explored Libraries with an ancient map and discovered buried treasure, but most importantly many children have now found the treasure of a book they consider to be their favourite.
I have truly seen the benefits of this programme in schools. It really only takes one good book to transform a child into a lifelong reader and fingers crossed in the past few months I have managed to create a few new bookworms! I’m already looking forward to getting back to school in September!
Teacher’s quotes on the Reader in Residence Programme
“The children are now very aware of the books available to them and the resources at their local library.”
“The children in my class now view reading as more recreational than a chore and have been asking for DEAR time.”
“Many children who wouldn’t have spoken about books or visited the library are now bringing books from the library into school to be read aloud to the group.”
“Some children have left library books on their desks and read them during transitional time between lessons.”
“They are dying to get their library cards!”
“The children were chatting about books through the week and were really excited every Tuesday. DEAR time has become calmer and they’re more focused when reading.”
“The children, especially the less able readers are more motivated to read now.”
Children’s Quotes on the programme
“It is brilliant I give you a 100000 out of 10!”
“I wish we could do this all year.”
“My favourite part was when we learned about new books.”
“I loved when we got to vote on the books and reading.”
“My favourite part was when we went to the library.”
“I wouldn’t change anything.”
“I only like when Ruth reads books to me but nobody else.”
“My favourite part is the Book Battles.”
“My favourite thing was that she made me change my mind about reading.”
Bernadette Larkin works as a consultant and creative practitioner with education and cultural organisations. As Head Of Education and Programmes at Airfield, a 38 acre urban working farm in Dublin, she developed a diverse arts and nature based education programme for children and adults. Prior to joining Airfield Bernadette worked at The Ark across a range of art forms, including, theatre, literature and visual arts. As Project Manager of ArkLink in Fatima Mansions, she worked with artists to deliver a community-based arts programme for children. She has worked on projects with Children’s Books Ireland and has recently completed Around The Table, a Dublin’s Culture Connects initiative with The National Library of Ireland working with communities from the Docks to the Markets area of Dublin.
She is currently the UNESCO City of Literature Community Reader – in – Residence working with young people in a range of settings across the Dublin 1 area.