Children's Book Festival 2022

October in Westmeath Libraries always means Children's Book Festival. This annual festival helps to spread the enjoyment of books and reading among children and families, authors and illustrators, teachers and librarians.

To launch our Children's Book Festival month we welcomed storyteller Patrick Ryan for a virtual visit. Patrick met with the junior classes of Brideswell National School to share stories and tales, and entertained all the children.

Patrick Ryan entertaining the children of Bridewell National School

We are also hosting in person activities again, and we had children's author Brian Gallagher in Castlepollard, Mullingar, and Moate libraries. Brian Gallagher was born in Dublin. He is a full-time writer whose plays and short stories have been produced in Ireland, Britain and Canada. He has worked extensively in radio and television, writing many dramas and documentaries. For his visit to Moate Library we arranged for 6th class St Oliver Plunkett's Boys National School to attend. In this workshop Brian discussed the steps you would undertake to write a novel. Brian payed particular attention and discussed his latest novel Winds of Change, followed by Q&A. This workshop was inspiring and kept the students engaged.

Moate Library also hosted a wonderful session to celebrate Space Week with St. Brigid's National School. Girls from 3rd class attended for a storytime with Kathleen, they then had a quiz session, followed up with a craft session where they designed their own rockets and astronauts.

Children's Book Festival is a central tenet of the Right to Read initiative and this programme will continue to be a central focus for library services to children for years to come.