Reach for the stars with the libraries

Right across County Westmeath, children are reading this summer in response to the Westmeath County Libraries summer reading initiative, Reach for the Stars. County librarian Paula O’Dornan has revealed that the seven branch libraries are all on course to reach their targets.

For several years Westmeath libraries have encouraged children to keep up their reading skills by taking part in a Summer Reading Challenge and this year the theme is ‘Reach for the Stars’.

Recent research has proven that children who do not read over the summer holidays, especially new readers, can suffer a significant setback in their reading ability. Recreational reading can help to spark the imagination and to develop an enquiring mind, as well as improving a child’s vocabulary.

In branch libraries throughout Westmeath, the Summer Reading Challenge has become a family activity, with parents helping children to select their books, reading together, and talking about the books.

The target for the Summer Reading Challenge is for the children to read 37,000 books over the summer months. Already in June they have borrowed and read 13,200 books.

The concept of Reach for the Stars is simple: children are invited to record the number of books they have read on their personal Summer Reading Challenge card. They may also decide to complete a Summer Reading Diary, the best of which will be displayed in the library.

Why not encourage your children to sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge and ‘Reach for the Stars’? They can then visit their local library and borrow a book of their choice.

Call into your local library to find out what challenges they have in store for summer 2013. All ‘star readers’ will be entered into an exciting library draw which will take place in September.

Visit for details of all Westmeath libraries and their opening hours. Keep up to date with what’s on in your library by following,, or



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