Applications are Open: Children’s Books Ireland offers schools hundreds of new books for their libraries

April 2023
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Illustration workshop with Champion of Reading Kathi Burke in Mount Sion, Waterford, 2022
Illustration workshop with Champion of Reading Kathi Burke in Mount Sion, Waterford, 2022

Applications are now open for our book-gifting projects 2023-2024, inviting schools across Ireland to apply for hundreds of books for their school library, class sets for their students to keep, visits from authors and illustrators, and more.

We believe that every child has the right to be a reader. We want every school library to be well-stocked with modern, diverse books, and every school library to have the appropriate resources to guide and inspire young readers.

Unfortunately, many schools still lack the resources needed to make this a reality. That’s where we come in. 

Books and 'Every Child A Reader' materials on display at St Brendan's N.S in Myna, Co. Mayo

What could your school receive?

  • Hundreds of new, excellent, and diverse books for your school library
  • Class sets for students to own and keep
  • Visits from well-known Irish children’s authors and illustrators
  • Tailored resource packs and classroom materials
  • Training and support from dedicated Children’s Books Ireland staff

Our book-gifting projects focus on schools in need or experiencing disadvantage and give students equal opportunities to read excellent books, bring artists into the classroom virtually or in-person to boost their enjoyment of reading, and support teachers with resources to promote reading for pleasure and creative engagement with books.

We are particularly interested in hearing from schools that are already making efforts to promote reading for pleasure and diversity and inclusion with what limited resources they do have. There are numerous packages on offer, and we will endeavour to match winning schools to the most suitable project.

The open call-out to schools for our school book-gifting projects in 2023-2024 is now open, and will close on Monday 3rd July 2023 at 5pm. 

All primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are invited to apply. Applications are assessed based on their particular needs and ambition for the projects, with the winners notified by the end of October 2023. 

Hear from some of the schools we worked in 2022-2023

'It was just fabulous to inject new life into our libraries and further encourage our children's love of reading. We have many lovely stories as a staff to tell as a result of our new books. One of our children told us that every morning she goes to her Granny's house before school and she finds it really long waiting here.

She brought home a book one day and she is now reading every morning before school and is loving it! And my absolute favourite! One of our staff members was at a local shopping centre and noticed one of our kids sitting on a bench reading a book!'

- Elaine Linehan, Home School Community Liaison, Greenmount National School, Cork.

Pupils of Greenmount National School in Cork, sitting in their school garden with library books
Students of Greenmount National School reading outdoors at the launch of their Every Child A Reader library in 2022

One student at Mount Sion, Waterford said 'These books are so good, it really got me into reading.'

Another student at the school said 'It's really fun and I'm not going to lie, your books are the best, they make me happy.'


A display of some of the books the school received at Mount Sion, Waterford
A display of some of the books the school received at Mount Sion, Waterford.

'Our artist workshops with Kim Sharkey were inspirational for both pupils and staff alike. We thoroughly enjoyed having Kim visit our school and hope that we will be able to work with her again in the future.'

– Joan McCandless, Deputy Principal, Scoil Mhuire Dristernan, Donegal

Kim Sharkey leads a Monster Doodle at Scoil Mhuire, Donegal
Kim Sharkey leads a Monster Doodle at Scoil Mhuire, Donegal.

Do you have questions about the application process?

You can now watch our online information session back on YouTube below. During this online zoom session, the team:

  • Explain the different book-gifting programmes you will be applying to
  • Go through this year's application questions
  • Give tips and advice on how to improve your application
  • Provide examples of successful applications from previous years

If you need more information about your application or about our book-gifting projects in 2023, please contact a member of our book-gifting team at