Right to Read is a national programme to promote literacy and reading development for people of all ages and backgrounds. Launched as part of the Opportunities for All: the public library as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural development 2013-2017 libraries strategy, it currently includes four national programmes designed to promote children's reading and literacy. These are:
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Right to Read is a collaborative cross-government initiative that provides a nationally coordinated framework for literacy support and reading development in all local authorities. It is funded primarily by local authorities and implemented through Right to Read Action Plans in each city and county. Right to Read supports literacy development for individuals, families and children and provides core services, resources and initiatives for a range of user groups.
Right to Read complements and support existing national strategies and initiatives, including the Department of Education and Skills’ National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.
A national Right to Read Steering Group, was established to support the development of a national programme framework. Membership included City and County Librarians, as well as representatives from the CCMA, the Local Government Management Agency, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, through Sport Ireland. It is chaired by DRCD.
The overall objectives of the programme are to –
• provide effective and co-ordinated literacy and reading development supports aimed at all members of the community and across the range of literacy types,
• develop the level of literacy of the community by enabling the acquisition of literacy skills, development of reading practices and support for formal and informal learning,
• establish a sustainable and formal network structure to identify and reach the individuals and groups in need of support,
• provide a national oversight to ensure a consistent level of support is provided to communities and individuals across the country, and
• to complement any existing literacy services already in place in communities, including the Education and Training Boards and adult literacy services.
Right to Read Champion Award, National Support and Oversight
The Right to Read Champion Award is a national initiative that recognises efforts by individual local authorities on an annual basis to support and promote literacy skills development and provide responsive literacy programmes throughout the authority.
dlr Libraries received a Right to Read Champion Award in October 2019 in recognition of its ongoing efforts to support literacy development through the library service.
The Awards, which were hosted by the LGMA at Local Government House in Dublin, were presented to 30 library authorities in recognition of the support and promotion of literacy skills development through initiatives such as the ‘Summer Stars Reading Programme’ and ‘Spring in to Storytime’.
Public libraries can run a programme of themed seasonal events and activities as part of the national Right to Read Programme to promote literacy and reading development for people of all ages.