A NEW Fingal County Council strategy is targeting early literacy as key to lifelong learning
The local authority has unveiled its new initiative 'The Youngest Ages Can Turn Pages - Fingal County Libraries Early Years Literacy Strategy' at Blanchardstown Library.
It is aimed at supporting the significant people in the lives of children from birth to six years, to give these children the best start in life through the use of books as fuel for the imagination and lifelong learning.
Following community consultation, Fingal Libraries which boasts the highest library membership in the Country, has formulated a targeted three year strategy that maximises existing resources, including community based networks, to overcome known barriers to improving literacy in children up to 6 years living in Fingal.
'We are very proud that this the first strategy produced by a public library service that specifically targets early literacy as well as being the first dedicated strategy produced by Fingal Libraries,' said Yvonne O'Brien, Senior Executive Librarian with Fingal County Council.
'We developed our strategy in response to the findings of the 'National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2011' which highlights the important role access to books plays in developing literacy in very young children,' she added. 'Research undertaken by the Library Association of Ireland also found that budget constraints and staff shortages prevented development of preschool literacy strategies in libraries and we want Fingal's strategy to address this challenge.'
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Kieran Dennison, said: 'Our libraries are the focal point in the community and Fingal Libraries are uniquely placed to deliver on this forward thinking strategy.
'I know they will draw on their wealth of resources from books to fun spaces, free membership and passionate and skilled library staff who are willing and eager to maximise everything we have to offer,' he added.
'I also believe their work can easily be replicated elsewhere in well-resourced libraries which have the capacity and the strong ties with community based organisations to achieve what we are planning in Fingal,' the Mayor concluded.