The Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries – open for applications

Four libraries of at least 300 books each to be donated to schools

Children’s Books Ireland is proud to announce the fourth annual Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries, named in memory of our former patron and long-time friend of the organisation. Robert was a critic, editor and teacher, a pioneer of the study of children’s literature in Ireland and a true champion for children’s books and their creators. Throughout his career as a secondary school teacher, he was instrumental in the establishment and running of school libraries, and later, as a lecturer in and commentator on children’s literature, he strongly supported schools in the inauguration and maintaining of collections of books which would enhance the lives of their students. After his death, his family suggested that instead of sending flowers, if wished, book tokens could be donated to local schools.

As a way of honouring Robert’s significant contribution to our organisation and to children’s literature and reading in Ireland, Children’s Books Ireland will make an award of four libraries of books of at least 300 books each. Children’s Books Ireland invites applications from all schools, primary and secondary, in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Apply online now, closing date December 7th 2020.

The successful schools will be selected by Children’s Books Ireland and Carole Redford, who was married to Robert for over fifty years. As well as a new library, each school will work with an artist as the school’s Champion of Reading, with digital visits taking place over video calls into the classrooms. Each of the chosen schools will also receive a pack of Children’s Books Ireland’s Mind Yourself, which recommends excellent books on mental health and wellbeing for children and young people of all ages, as well as posters and stickers which have been designed for Children’s Books Ireland’s annual reading campaign. You can find out more about how the project worked for the 2019/20 schools here.  

Schools will receive:

  • At least 300 new books for the school library
  • A brilliant Irish artist as the school’s Champion of Reading, with six digital visits to the school included
  • Copies of Mind Yourself – the Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide, posters, bookmarks and stickers
  • Support and training from Children’s Books Ireland on making the best use of the new books

Since 2017 Children’s Books Ireland has worked with fifteen schools and 4477 students on the Robert Dunbar Memorial programme, donating over 6600 books and connecting schools with 21 artists. We invite you to apply to be the next recipient.

Our Partners: Arts Council