Library Stock and Resources

Book stock and other library resources

Public library book collections total 12.4 million of which 5.6 million (45%) are children’s books – including book collections held in library schools.

Young people are not restricted to this stock: reference books, maps, exhibitions, drama workshops, graphic novels, playstations, music, newspapers and content in journals and on the internet in the library are there to be exploited.

The lending of books continues to be the core activity. In 2009 (latest figures available) public libraries loaned books 15 million times, of which 6.8 million, or 45%, were classified as children’s books.

The Public Library User Survey (PLUS) in 2007 showed that 40% of 15-19 year olds came to borrow books; of those, 74% did borrow at least one book.

Figures from the Public Lending Remuneration Scheme show that eight of the ten most popular authors in Irish libraries in 2010 were children’s authors.

Accessing Resources

Children can access a wide range of resources from their local library and also from the collections of all public libraries in Ireland through.


Stock Selection

Library authorities select their stock based on local needs and demand. However, library staff in some authorities have developed a set of selection criteria which may be of interest to colleagues in different authorities.  We will propose in this section some examples of good practice in this area:

It isn’t easy – a collection of books for children dealing with difficult issues in life

South Dublin County Libraries has recently launched a collection of books aimed at helping children to cope with life’s challenges – “It isn’t easy”. The collection is intended for children themselves. It is hoped that children dealing with difficulties in their lives will find information or identify with characters in the books. Read more details on the initiative here and download the full listing of recommended books.


Picturebooks and visual texts for teenagers (by Valerie Coghlan, December 2010)

When children learn to read print text the importance of reading a visual text is often put aside or forgotten about. But the two reading capabilities are complementary rather than exclusive. Learning to read ‘visually’ and maintaining that ability can in many ways enhance appreciation of the visual environment, of film and television and of visual texts in print.

Valerie Coghlan, librarian and lecturer at Church of Ireland College of Education, has complied a list of  books, journals and websites which  may be helpful in devising strategies for engaging teen readers with visual text.  Download it here.


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