Laureate na nÓg
Laureate na nÓg is a position awarded in Ireland once every two years to a distinguished writer or illustrator of children's books. It was set up by the Arts Council of Ireland in 2010. It is intended "to engage young people with high quality children's literature and to underline the importance of children's literature in our cultural and imaginative life".
Siobhán Parkinson, described by The Irish Times as "one of Ireland's foremost children's writers", was announced as the first holder of the post on 10 May 2010. President of Ireland Mary McAleese revealed the news at an event held at the Irish Arts Council in Dublin. Parkinson received the silver Laureate na nÓg medal from the President.
She announced one of her main aims was that "every child in the country has access to a nice, bright, warm, cheerful, comfortable library, where they can go and find the books that will open their minds and bring them into wonderful imaginary places. That sense of excitement and joy about books I want every child to have, and not all children do get that". She is in favour of modern media techniques, commenting: "Texting is a form of writing as well. If we get too uptight in pushing books at children it will have a negative effect. We have to make them interested in books and to realise they can get enjoyment, fun and pleasure from reading". One of her first requests was an appeal to the Government of Ireland for the restoration of school library system funding which it had removed due to cuts.
Parkinson is scheduled to remain as Laureate na nÓg for a period of two years.
List of Laureates na nÓg
- "Puffin author crowned Irish children's laureate". The Bookseller (Nielsen Company). 10 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- Wyley, Enda (11 May 2010). "A champion for children's literature". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Black, Fergus (11 May 2010). "A turn-up for the books as children's laureate unveiled". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Parkinson named children's laureate". Press Association (Google). 10 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- Flood, Alison (11 May 2010). "Ireland names Siobhán Parkinson first children's laureate". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Laureate appeals over library funds". Press Association (Google). 15 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- "Children’s Laureate calls for improved children library services". Cork Student News (University College Cork). 15 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.