"What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education"- Harold Howe

In Willow Junior, we treasure our library.

I say 'we' because the Library has been created by the whole school community. It was built by the school, developed and resourced by the WPA, used by the teachers and (its contents) exploited, mined and devoured by the pupils! Such 'treasures' are not found by accident; they require much planning and digging. The hard work was done by Willow parents Jacqui Fox, Keara Hall, Helen Hughes and Leisa Benner (to name but a few). Their interest sparked a fire of enthusiasm across the school- and within a year we had a fully functioning and self-resourced library.

From such initiatives comes real learning.

Today the library remains a communal resource under the direction of our coordinator Mairead Bermingham. Mairead (assisted by a cohort of interested parents) manages a learning space that welcomes and engages it's many visitors on a daily basis. Mairead understands that "the love of libraries, like most loves, must be learned"; thus a warm, relaxed, helpful atmosphere pervades the space and our young readers- avid or reluctant- come to the library on a regular basis- either as part of their time-tabled class visit, or as individual readers- seeking new novels for leisurely reading, or information for class projects and general curiosity.

Of course modern libraries are more than silent, reading spaces: they are a meeting place, a live-storytelling area, a music-hall, a google-searching resource- the list is endless, as is the imagination of our young readers (who also appreciate the silence of the traditional in our often loud, raucous, modern world).

Thus our young library is growing (like its readers) and is evolving in response to the changing needs/interests of its users.

A noted library-lover once said:

"If I was a book, I would like to be a library book, so I would be taken home by all sorts of different children!"

For libraries bring out the best in people, make them feel positive and curious about their world and engender a desire to share knowledge with one another.

Don't forget to also see our Suggested Reading page for some excellent recommendations from Mairead!

Willow Park Junior school,
Co. Dublin,

01 288 1651

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