Home » Photo Slider » Ireland Reads



What is Ireland Reads? 

Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Thursday, February 25. 

Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign which is part of the government Keep Well initiative and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment. 

The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Thursday, February 25. 


Why is reading important?

Research shows that reading for pleasure is really important for all of us – no matter our age. 

For children, of course, it has a huge positive impact on their cognitive development and literacy. 

For adults, studies have found that reading for pleasure enhances empathy, understanding of the self, and is effective in combatting loneliness. 

Right now, many of the activities we used to take for granted are not available to us, but you can always enjoy a good book – or a newspaper or magazine.  

Reading offers a way to escape and keep mentally active, and to lift our mood, and it doesn’t have to be a solitary experience – you can read with your kids of course, or you might use reading to connect with friends and family. Maybe through a book club, or just swapping  recommendations.  

How can people join in the campaign? 

It doesn’t matter how long you read for or what you read, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader, a reluctant reader, a lapsed reader or a new reader, this campaign is for you. 

Take the pledge to read at irelandreads.ie
A new website www.irelandreads.ie has been set up where the public can pledge to read on ‘Ireland Reads’ Day, February 25th, and check to see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far. 

Get a book recommendation at irelandreads.ie

The Ireland Reads website also offers book recommendations, suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country. 

A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and the website will offer a suitable book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – a couch to 5k for books! 

Attend an event

Campaign partners and libraries all over the country will be running ‘Ireland Reads’ initiatives and events throughout February in the build up to Thursday, February 25th. Here's what's taking place in Donegal.

Date & Time



Wednesday 17th Feb at 11.00am







Brighdín Carr

(Irish language)

Tá Fia, gasúr óg ó Ghleannbheatha, ag dul ar thuras lena thúismitheoirí go Páirc Safari i gCorcaigh. Toisc go bhfuil samhlaíocht fiáin air, cheapann sé go bhfuil sé caillte sna coillte, agus go bhfuil arm ainmhithe ag teacht ina dhiaidh. Cloiseann sé fuaimeanna áit i lár na coillte, eilifint ag canadh, sioraif ag seinm drumaí agus mac tíre ag crith os ard! Síleann sé go bhfuil nathanna ina bhfolach i measc na crainn.... ach, níl ann ach a madadh beag sa thóir!

Sunday 21st Feb at 11.00am





Central Library Staff

No matter the circumstances, we’re here to help bring the joy of books to our young readers. Enjoy our Ireland Reads session brought directly to you by our expert children's librarians as they read beloved books, recite poems, and share their favourite children’s literature.

Tuesday 23rd Feb at 11.00



Central Library Staff

Rhyme Time will celebrate the joys of reading, language and stories through the use of song, puppets, picture books, storytelling, and more!

Wednesday 24th Feb at 11.00







Brighdín Carr

(English language)

Odhrán Ogre is the greenest, scariest, hairiest monster in Willowsville Woods, until he tries to roar. Unfortunately, he doesn't scare ANY of the local children, mummies with prams or daddies at the playground  until he teams up with his new best friend, Luchóg Láidir, the tiniest, squeakiest mouse in the woods. A formidable team, the two pals find that teamwork is the solution to their troubles, and working together, live happily ever. 

Thursday 25th at 10.30am





Email weereader@donegallibrary.ie

Donegal Author Valerie Bryce

Live on Zoom. Valerie Bryce, will introduce 'Zoe's Present' to young readers and share some exercises which help us to be mindful and calm. #SqueezeInARead in the run up to #IrelandReads.
If you wish to join Valerie's workshop, please email weereader@donegallibrary.ie As places are limited. We will be in touch with the details.

Thursday 25th at 7.00pm








Bríd Anna Ní Bhaoill

Irish Language

The award winning seanchaí Bríd Anna Ní Bhaoill talks about her latest venture, a soon to be published book entitled Scéal Chú Chulainn. She talks about how the idea to write the book came about and how the project has almost come to fruition.  It will be launched on Friday 19th March online, on the facebook page Seanchas Sheáin Néill, on the 40th anniversary of the death of the renowned storyteller Mickey Sheáin Néill. The book celebrates the life of Mickey Sheáin Néill and his most famous story.

The "Wee" Reader Initiative – The young people of Donegal have been invited to read their favourite passage from their favourite book. Published to facebook @DonegalCountyLibrary from 25th February. If you have a wee reader who would like to participate email weereader@donegallibrary.ie  for more information


Share on social media 

Please use #IrelandReads or #SqueezeInARead and share your pledge to read on social media or tell others about your favorite books, recommended reads or the book that got you through Covid. 

Book your Doorstep Delivery 

We can now deliver library books to your door! Find out how to access our Doorstep Delivery Service here.


Who is involved in the campaign? 

The Ireland Reads campaign is a collaboration led by the Libraries Development Unit at the Local Government Management Agency, and part of the Government ‘Keep Well’ initiative.

As well as all public libraries, partners in the campaign include RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Bookselling Ireland, Publishing Ireland, Childrens Books Ireland, the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), Junior Cert Schools Programme Libraries, and SOLAS. 

A number of campaign ambassadors from the world of writing, science, sport, broadcasting are on board to help promote the campaign, including:

Broadcaster and bookclubber, Rick O’Shea
Author, Emma Donoghue, Sarah Webb, Sebastian Barry, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Luke O’Neill, Kevin Barry, Patricia Scanlan and Melanie Murphy
Sarah Fitzgerald of Sarah’s Book Project 

Ray Cuddihy (Muinteoir Ray) from RTÉ Homeschool Hub
Professor Ian Robertson, Dr Tony Bates, Professor John Sharry and Dr Colman Noctor.
Canoeist, Jenny Egan 

You can find out what reading means to them and why they think it is important at IrelandReads.ie 

How can people access books during Covid? 

While libraries are not currently open for borrowing or borrowing due to Covid restrictions, library members can use the library Borrowbox service online and choose from more than 43,000 eBooks and 33,000 eAudiobooks. Visit here for our online resources.

We can now deliver library books to your door! Find out how to access our Doorstep Delivery Service here.


What do libraries offer? 

In ordinary times, library members can borrow from more than 12 million items. 

Right now, while libraries are unfortunately closed to the public, our online services are still available. 

Members can access:

44,000 eBooks
33,000 eAudiobooks
4,000 magazines
2,500 online newspapers from over 100 countries,

If you're not a member yet, you can become a member online. Find more information about what and how you can access from Donegal Library Service here.


Is this campaign just about library books? 

No! We are encouraging people to support local bookshops too. You’ll find a link on the Ireland Reads website to a map where you can find your local bookshop and how to order from it. 

Most people have that book or pile of books they’ve been meaning to get around to or that old favorite comfort read you keep returning to – what better time than now!


Join us on February 25th to #SqueezeInARead and take the pledge at IrelandReads.ie