Wellbeing, BookTok and Barriers to Literature: Ireland-Scotland network investigates impact of COVID-19 on Children's & Young Adult Reading Communities

April 2022
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IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE CREATIVE, CULTURAL, AND READING COMMUNITIES IN SCOTLAND AND IRELAND

Children’s Books Ireland is a proud, active member of Lionra: The Ireland-Scotland Youth Literature and Arts Network. This new transnational network was created in 2021 as part of a research project funded by an Ireland-Scotland Bilateral Network Grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Ireland.  

The project explored how the children’s and young adult literature, creative, cultural, and reading communities in Scotland and Ireland have been responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by COVID-19. It was led by Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, Dr Patricia Kennon and Dr Siobhán Morrissey.

About Lionra: The Ireland-Scotland Youth Literature and Arts Network

The network consists of two academic partners – Maynooth University and University of Glasgow – and seven key Irish and Scottish national arts organisations:

  • Children’s Books Ireland
  • Fighting Words
  • Moat Brae: National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling
  • Poetry Ireland
  • Scottish Book Trust
  • The Super Power Agency
  • Wigtown Book Festival.

About the report

The research, published today, brings together perspectives from a sample of children and teenagers, adult creators of children’s and young adult literature, and cultural organisations in Ireland and Scotland. It investigates these core questions:

  1. What role and benefits has children’s and young adult literature had for Irish and Scottish young people’s well-being and resilience during the pandemic, and what barriers exist for young people in accessing children’s and young adult literature?
  2. How have Irish and Scottish cultural organisations and authors, illustrators and storytellers for children and young adults responded to the pandemic, and what new ways of working have emerged?
  3. How might these creative communities and young reading communities be supported moving forward?

The report features illustrations by Tarsila Krüse from My Little Album of Dublin and My Little Album of Ireland, written by and Juliette Saumande and published by The O’Brien Press, alongside illustrations by Eilidh Muldoon.