Westside Public Library launch new initiative encouraging families to read together

By David O’Connor

Westside Public Library in Galway is launching an innovative virtual initiative to get families reading together again.

Wonderland Westside is a read-along enterprise that will run for 12 weeks, beginning on Wednesday, March 3.

Every Wednesday, there will be a chapter reading of Alice in Wonderland. Followed by some book club style questions, with the aim of encouraging families to sit and read through the classic together.

Mark Sweeney, Senior Library Assistant at Westside Public Library, spoke about not being able to facilitate the broad variety of events that the Library usually offers.

“Trying to translate that to social media in present circumstances has been a real challenge, but one I think we’ve been rising to, with our colleagues doing things like online book clubs, craft videos, talks and livestreams of all kinds,” he said.

Chapter 1
Photo courtesy of Westside Public Library

Mr Sweeney explained the reasoning behind the choice of Alice in Wonderland for the project.

“We wanted to pick something that was available through our free eBook service BorrowBox, and also at hand across the web in a variety of formats. It’s one of those books that seems to connect with every generation,” he said.

The Library has received positive feedback from the public over the initiative. With a lot of engagement on their Facebook page from members.

Mr Sweeney labelled the response as “very rewarding” for the hard work the team has put in ahead of the launch.

Playing Cards mad hatters
Photo courtesy of Westside Public Library

In order to offer a greater experience, the Library will be posting craft videos related to the book on Saturdays.

Which will include the theme of Wonderland, such as the Mad Hatter’s Hat, Tea Cups, and a Wonderland Signpost.

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