Life-changing libraries

Libraries are one of the great empowering institutions. They are one of the great engines of culture and civilisation and deserve to be supported and protected.

They will undoubtedly change in the digital age but the basic function — sharing literature, music and knowledge, providing inspiration for fertile minds and resources for researchers will not change. In reality the collapse of barriers once represented by geography make libraries ever more relevant and accessible. No library in the world is now beyond the reach of anyone anywhere. This is a huge liberation and can only be a great advance for us all.

The Summer Reading Programme is opening doors for thousands of young people and if a lifelong reading habit is formed because of the project then it will be more than worthwhile.

On our books pages today poet and librarian Thomas McCarthy reviews an anthology in which various writers celebrate the place and influence libraries have in their lives. There is a common theme warning against the kind of cuts our economic situation might make necessary but there is also a common optimism that such a great force for good can survive most anything.


Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students mustn’t be forced to go through the motions with state exams, and we need creative thinking to find alternatives fast, writes mother and educator Ellie O’Byrne.Policy fail? Insistence that state exams go ahead in June is glib and ignorant

Yes, we all need to stay at home but that doesn't mean your children have to be bored, says Michelle McGlynnWorld of wonder: What to do with the children outdoors

Over the next three weeks, I am going to outline how you can support yourself and your family over this period of lockdown, writes Richard Hogan.Learning Points: Keeping children on a healthy and happy regime

As we are settling into our new routines of self isolation, staying at home and home schooling it feels that a whole new set of pressures is coming down the tracks.Mum's The Word: Pressure to be productive in a world of online classes

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