Dublin School Children Unveil a Collection of Handmade Books Inspired by Trinity College’s Library

Posted on: 28 March 2012

An exhibition of handmade books inspired by works from Trinity College Dublin’s Library and created by children from three Dublin primary schools was opened this week in the Long Room of Trinity College Dublin’s Old Library by Trinity College Librarian, Robin Adams.  The exhibition marks the completion of a three-month project called Bookmarks a story writing, illustration and bookbinding programme which is organised by the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP).

This year the Bookmarks programme involved 70, 5th and 6th class children from three primary schools: St Laurence CBS in Dublin 1, O’Connell’s Boys School in Dublin 1 and Assumption Senior National School in Walkinstown.  The schools are linked to the College through the Trinity Access Programmes which offers support to students from underrepresented backgrounds to progress to higher education.

Pictured at Trinity College Dublin were Craig McCabe (11), Jordan Ryan (12), George Csog (12) and Karan Mohun (12) from O’Connell’s Boys School in Dublin 1.

The aim of the Bookmarks programme is to inspire children to become the next generation of authors, illustrators and publishers.  Over the course of three months, the children attended a series of workshops on story writing and illustration delivered by local artist, Hannah Maguire and author, Emer Martin.  Other workshops, delivered by staff from the School of English and the TCD Library Early Printed Materials, helped children develop their storylines by introducing them to the Pollard Collection, a collection of over 10,000 historic children’s books spanning three centuries.  The Pollard Collection is an imaginative resource for today’s children, helping them develop their storylines whilst also learning about their own literary and cultural heritage.  The children were also given the opportunity to explore the Trinity campus, visit the Old Library and view the Book of Kells as part of the Bookmarks programme.

Commenting on the success of the Bookmarks programme, Kathleen O’Toole-Brennan of Trinity Access Programmes said: “TAP is very proud of the Bookmarks programme and the unique opportunity which it provides for children to acquire new skills and to be exposed to the world of children’s literature in a very hands-on manner.  The quality of the children’s’ books are excellent, and with continued involvement in TAP’s outreach programmes, which attract over 4,000 students annually, these same students and their peers will successfully make the transition to both second and third level.”

The Bookmarks programme is one of a number of outreach activities for primary schools which aim to build a positive relationship between school students, their families and Trinity College Dublin with the hope of raising their aspirations regarding third-level study.

The children were each presented with a certificate of achievement by Siobhán Parkinson, Laureate na nÓg at an awards ceremony to mark the opening of the exhibition.  Their books will be displayed in the Long Room of Trinity College as recognition of their achievement and can be viewed by the public.

The Bookmarks exhibition will run from March 27th to April 17th in the Long Room, Old Library, Trinity College Dublin.

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