An Bosca Leabharlainne: Read the report

August 2023
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Child reading book in Irish language at the launch of the An Bosca Leabharlainne project

Read the report

An Bosca Leabharlainne, meaning The Library Box, was Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn’s flagship project during her tenure (2020–23) and was developed, delivered and supported by the team at Children’s Books Ireland. It was a hugely ambitious project, and we expected its impact to be felt proportionately by children all over the island of Ireland.

The project received funding from Foras na Gaeilge, and the Arts Council, and was supported by regular funding for Laureate na nÓg from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. 2,200 boxes of An Bosca Leabharlainne were sent to 1,831 schools, including every Gaelscoil and Gaeltacht school on the island of Ireland.

This is the first project of its kind, in terms of scale, implementation, number of artists work represented, and number of children accessed. There had been guidance on reading in Irish provided to schools before, but this is the first project to exclusively focus on reading in Irish for pleasure and to provide the books and resources.

‘For most of our pupils Irish is a subject they ‘have to do’ and it doesn’t exist outside the classroom. For them to see that there are books available in Irish that aren’t ‘school-y’ is a revelation.

‘We were doing free reading and one of our 3rd Class boys was reading his book. I asked him “an bhfuil sé go maith?” and he started to explain something from the book but did so in Irish without meaning to. He was lost in the story and in the language of the story.’

- Teacher in an English-language medium school, Monaghan

Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council. It is managed and delivered on the council’s behalf by Children’s Books Ireland, and also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

By honouring an artist of exceptional talent and commitment, Laureate na nÓg champions and celebrates literature for children and young people, inspiring generations of writers, illustrators and readers.

We would like to offer our thanks to all of the schools who participated in the An Bosca Leabharlainne evaluation process, and in particular to the students and teachers who gave their time in focus groups and field work. Our thanks to the eleven Artists in Residence for their work throughout the project, and for the valuable feedback they contributed to this report.