latest news

National Drop Everything and Read Challenge 2021

by Kathleen Moran

Register your support for DEAR here

Following on from our enormously successful 2020 National DEAR Challenge – where we had over 342,000 registered participants – we are once again inviting the entire nation to take time out to join our 2021 Challenge and to ‘Drop Everything and Read’ for 20 minutes at 12 noon on Friday April 30th 2021.

2021 will be our 6th National DEAR Challenge and we hope to make it bigger and better than ever.

The simple idea is to promote the importance of literacy and to spread the joy of reading for pleasure by having as many people as possible read at the same time on the same day. With over 342,000 registered participants last year, our aim is to have an even higher participation figure this year. So show your support and register here.

Work will be put down, computer screens will be turned off, and everyone will be encouraged to pick up a book, magazine, newspaper, e-book, audio book, etc. and to read quietly, or indeed be read to, for 20 minutes (or more!).

DEAR Ambassador Áine Ní Ghlinn (Photo credit: Ger Holland)

We are delighted to welcome the current Laureate na nÓg, Áine Ní Ghlinn as our DEAR Ambassador this year. Áine is the first Irish language writer to be awarded the honour of Laureate. For more information about Laureate na nÓg, go to

View Áine’s promotional videos:

Give our children the joy of reading as Gaeilge as well as as Béarla


The main focus of this National DEAR Challenge is to draw attention to the importance of reading for pleasure. If reading is to become a lifelong habit then young people must see themselves as participants in a community that views reading as a significant and enjoyable activity.

When is DEAR celebrated?

The official time and date for DEAR Ireland 2021 is 12 noon on Friday April 30th.

Can DEAR be celebrated at a different time/date?

Of course.  If you cannot participate in DEAR at the official date and time, then please show your support by registering and taking time to read on a date and time to suit you.  DEAR can be celebrated at any time on any day, or better still, every day!

What do I need to do to participate in DEAR?

All those planning to participate in the 2021 National Drop Everything and Read Challenge (individuals, families, schools, organisations, companies, etc.) are asked to register here

Then all you have to do is read!


Registration Form – click here to register for DEAR 2021

DEAR Ambassador Áine Ní Ghlinn – check out these promotional videos from DEAR 2021 Ambassador Áine Ní Ghlinn:

Follow the campaign on Twitter @dear_ireland and share your comments, photos and video clips on Twitter, Instagram, etc. using the hashtags #DEARIrl and #LetsGetIrelandReading or email to

DEAR Ambassadors

DEAR Supporters & Participants

latest news

EIRSAT-1 Space Art Challenge

The EIRSAT-1 Team in UCD and JCSP Libraries have come together to create the Space Art Challenge. This exciting new space-themed art competition is open to students in JCSP schools across Ireland

Free video tutorials with artists Helen Robinson, Jessica Erkal, Aidan Courtney, Emer O Boyle and Alan Nolan will be posted weekly on the JCSP Libraries YouTube Channel HERE – commencing on the week of February 22nd 2021. Each artist will demonstrate their own artistic style, following specific space-themed prompts and they will also share tips to support students to develop their own artistic knowledge and skills. 

The challenge requires imaginative thought and can be enjoyed by students in all year groups. The aim is to support young people to develop their artistic practice, creativity, originality and self-expression through exploration of the wonders of the universe.

Ready to join the challenge?

  • First, introduce your students to the challenge by sharing links to the poster and promotional video.
  • With your class, watch or share the artists’ video tutorials. These will be released weekly from February 22nd to March 22nd 2021. Once released, the videos will remain open on our YouTube Channel throughout the Challenge and can be watched at any time.
  • Follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts for regular updates and artists tips.
  • Encourage your students to sketch, draw or paint their own space-themed pieces. They are free to use the artists’ prompts or their own ideas for inspiration. All entries must be space-themed.
  • During remote learning, where students are not in school, you are welcome to adapt the challenge to fit your needs, inviting students to watch the videos, and sharing the resources with them. You may wish to ask them to take the Space Art Challenge as part of their home learning.
  • We would encourage schools to share and celebrate samples of students’ work via the school website, social media channels, etc. throughout the weeks of the Challenge – using the hashtags #SpaceArtChallenge #EIRSAT1 #jcspLibraries
  • The closing date for entries is 23rd April 2021 – so lots of time for students to develop and refine their work.
  • The competition is open to Junior and Senior Cycle students in all JCSP schools.
  • All entries must be submitted via the school and using the official entry form. Students should not submit entries directly.
While students in all schools are free to access the videos and are encouraged to produce art work based on the prompts, the competition itself is restricted to students in JCSP schools.

How to enter

Take a photo or make a scan of all of your student entries and send them to along with a copy of the entry form detailing your school and participating students details.

The closing date for entries is 23rd April.

Winner selection and prizes

Winners, Runners Up and Highly Commended will be selected in the following 3 categories:

  • Category A: Junior Cycle
  • Category B: Senior Cycle
  • Category C: Special Needs

Great range of prizes including Telescopes, Star Projectors, Space Lego, EIRSAT-1 Merchandise, Books, Art Materials and more

A selection of the submitted artwork will be included in a digital gallery

Meet the Artists

What is EIRSAT-1?

EIRSAT-1 is the Educational Irish Research Satellite 1. A team of academic staff and students in University College Dublin are designing, building and will operate Ireland’s first satellite. It is a 2U CubeSat being developed as part of the European Space Agency’s Fly Your Satellite Programme.

The EIRSAT-1 project is carried out with the support of the Education Office of the European Space Agency under the educational Fly Your Satellite! programme

latest news

Read All About it! Our School Newspaper – The Mile Post

by Éadaoin Quinn

It is always on a Thursday at “little break” when The Mile Post is distributed. The newspaper team armed with bundles of papers, take their places at the lockers and the entrance to the canteen, awaiting the bell. The buzz of excitement is evident as both students and staff rush to get their copy, leafing through at speed (to see if they are in it!), before settling in for a read. The Principal and Deputy Principals are given their papers ten minutes before everyone else. The newspaper team anxiously await their thumbs up. Voicing opinions, writing on difficult topics, and interviewing staff are acts of courage. Waiting for feedback is nerve-wracking!

Our school newspaper is effectively the student voice of Enniscorthy Vocational College and The Mile Post is the real deal. It is a school ‘newspaper’. It is not a newsletter and it is not a magazine!! We are a tad touchy about that. The school community includes over 400 pupils, but the readership of our newspaper extends far beyond that to teachers, families, and the wider community. Our newspaper aims to make our world bigger, exploring the world beyond the school gates. Articles look at local youth groups, third level study, career choices, visits abroad, going to the Gaeltacht. A lead story last winter studied the air quality of the town in comparison to WHO norms and world averages for pollution with shocking results. This is a publication which acknowledges that growing up means finding your place in the world. 

The publishing team meets weekly at lunchtime in the library with the JCSP librarian and a teacher.  With feature writing, editing, sports reporting, photography, cartoon drawing, research and distribution, there is a role for everybody. The TY class join in through Newsbrand, Ireland’s Press Pass media literacy initiative. Sometimes the team hosts tea and chat in the library and bring together groups of students for features. Freelance articles are commissioned from students, often they become hooked and are enlisted for further pieces. We stress that everyone has a story to tell and a unique experience of school and the world around them. Students are, if necessary, supported to write by members of staff: resource teachers, NBSS, librarian and teachers. Reporters and photographers are given press passes allowing travel to matches and events. Prompt filing of stories is expected, or passes are revoked!! 

Mylie our resident agony aunt (really two wise sixth year students who work in secret) promotes wellbeing. Dear Mylie answers anonymous questions from students on everything from losing a BFF when moving from primary to secondary, drug use, separation, anxiety and learning to study. Dear Mylie has his/her anonymous finger on the pulse and is a firm favourite among the school community. The student voice is also championed with articles like ‘My experience of living with ADHD’ or ‘Music and me – playing the violin’. There is inherent wisdom in some articles ‘I hate it when my friends look at their phone when I’m telling a story’ and peer advice on the merits and otherwise of TY from graduating students at the end of the year.  Issues raised in editorials have even made it to the agenda of senior management meetings. 

Like any school club or committee, just being part of a team is a great. The newspaper team works hard together and celebrates each issue with cups of tea and biscuits. We also mark the end of the year with a pizza party in the library. Of course, we are not forgetting that in publishing our school newspaper valuable skills are learned; researching, writing, drafting, editing, communicating, photography, IT skills, working to deadlines (sometimes learning the hard way!) and working as part of a team. The “final -final” deadline is always a Friday, with tweaks and last-minute additions on a Monday before a PDF is sent to the printers on Tuesday, to be collected early Thursday morning. An electronic copy is also created and shared to supplement the paper. 

At its most basic function, The Mile Post publishes listings of information, what clubs and extra-curricular activities are on, when and where and how to get involved. Match scores are reported, competitions and big events are flagged. However, the real magic of the newspaper is in building community. We get to know each other and celebrate our successes, inside and outside of school. There is the ever popular ‘Shout Outs and Happy Birthday’ feature.  Students from across year groups and friendship groups work together towards their deadlines.  We learn all sorts of details about each other’s lives outside school from our hidden talents to our secret fears and maybe even our favourite breakfast cereal. We have discovered that our students have wildly diverse and interesting hobbies like ballroom dancing, flapper racing, hunting, rally driving, mountain biking, boxing, and make-up vlogging. There is no end of material to write about.  This September will see some special celebrations for our team, as they have recently achieved an impressive second prize in the Press Pass awards for school newspapers. Voicing opinions, writing about difficult topics, and interviewing staff are acts of courage. And these young reporters are incredibly BRAVE! The future of print news in alive and well in Enniscorthy Vocational College!

latest news

New Cross College Library Hosts Inktober Exhibition

by: Ciaran O’Doherty

It was our pleasure to host the launch of the Inktober Art Exhibition here in New Cross College on 31st January. The exhibition includes the work of students from across JCSP Library Project schools who submitted entries as part of the JCSP Demonstration Library Project Inktober Art Competition. The exhibition includes the winning entries from each school that participated in the project and the standard of the work is truly amazing.

During the month of October the students were given a different word each day as a theme for the work that they decided to create. Each school selected their individual winners and these winning entries were then framed and displayed as part of the exhibition. JCSP Demonstration Library Project Senior Librarian, Kathleen Moran and artist Alan Nolan had the extremely difficult task of then choosing the overall winners on the day of our launch.

Overall Winner
Eros Sarantsev
Larkin Community College, Dublin
2nd Place
Michelle Kuzmichevix
Presentation Secondary School, Warrenmount, Dublin
3rd Place
Jane Wogan
Beaufort College, Navan, Co. Meath

The standard of work on display in this exhibition is outstanding and it is a perfect showcase for our students’ wonderful talents. You can view the Inktober Exhibition in New Cross College from 3rd – 14th February. It will then move to Blanchardstown Public Library where it will be on display from 23rd February – 4th March.

I am blown away by the standard of work on display here today

Alan Nolan – Artist and Inktober Competition judge

Ciaran O’Doherty JCSP Librarian, New Cross College, Finglas, Dublin

latest news

JCSP Library in St. Kevin’s College, Crumlin is relaunched as the ‘Lynott Library’

by: Kathleen Moran


A commemorative silver coin marking 70 years since rock artist Phil Lynott was born was launched by the Central Bank and unveiled by President Michael D. Higgins on November 26th. The launch took place in St. Kevin’s College, Crumlin, Dublin – the school Lynott attended in his youth.

Every student and staff member, as well as members of the Lynott family, assembled in the Sports Centre to hear the St. Kevin’s College Brass Band (ably led on trombone by St. Kevin’s JCSP Librarian, Neil Kettles) perform a medley of Thin Lizzy songs, and listen to a fascinating address from President Michael D. Higgins. 

Speaking at the launch, President Higgins said Lynott was “not likely to be forgotten,” and that it was “a very great loss” for him to die at the age of 36.

President Higgins added it was “very important that we not only protect the right to perform but the space to perform”. The President spoke of the creativity of Irish young people and of the importance of performance in their lives. This is something that we fully support through our JCSP Libraries.

President Michael D. Higgins speaking at the launch

Sharon Donnery, deputy governor of the Central Bank, spoke of Phil Lynott’s iconic status, his contribution to modern Irish music and the enduring popularity of his music.

The President, together with the Lynott family, guests from Educate Together, CDETB and other organizations were then invited to the newly named “Lynott Library” to view Phil’s original attendance register. 

Students from St. Kevin’s College presented the President with a copy of ‘We Write What We Like’, an anthology of poetry written by students from across CDETB schools working with Writer-in-Residence Kevin Mc Dermott and published by the JCSP Demonstration Library Project. The President’s copy was signed by the St. Kevin’s students who contributed to it.

President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins with Lesley Byrne (Principal) and students and staff of St. Kevin’s College

St. Kevin’s received one of the newly minted coins, and a signed book by Jim Fitzpatrick, who created the Thin Lizzy album art, both of which will be proudly displayed in the main hall.  Coins were also presented to Phil Lynott’s daughters and son.

Sarah Lynott and Cathleen Lynott , daughters of Phil Lynott with new coin. Photograoh: Tom Honan
MacDaragh Lambe, son of Phil Lynott, is presented with the new coin by President Higgins

Lesley Byrne, St. Kevin’s College Principal, emphasised the central role the JCSP Library plays in the school.  She specifically mentioned the brass band, noting that the “Lynott Library” has never been a space where you can expect to be shushed!

Carol Hanney (Chief Executive, CDETB), President Michael D.Higgins, Paul Crone (Director of Schools, CDETB)
President Michael D. Higgins with singer Brush Shiels

Congratulations to all involved in organising this wonderful event. Wishing our JCSP Librarian in St. Kevin’s College, Neil Kettles, the very best of luck in his new ‘Lynott Library’ where we have no doubt that music and the arts will, from now on, play an even greater part in students’ lives.

The future at St. Kevin’s is loud!

Kathleen Moran – Senior Librarian, JCSP Demonstration Librarian Project


latest news

‘Read Your Mind’ launches in all JCSP Libraries

by: Kathleen Moran

The JCSP Demonstration Library Project, in collaboration with Jigsaw, The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, has launched the ‘Read Your Mind’, Book Project in all JCSP school libraries across the country.

Self-help books are now recognised as a vital source of support for people experiencing mental health difficulties. Read Your Mind is an initiative which brings together an invaluable collection of 113 books on a range of mental health related topics. All titles in the collection have been evaluated and are recommended by Jigsaw clinicians. Topics covered include anger, anxiety, autism, bullying, creativity, low mood, mindfulness, parenting and families, social media, and much more.

The JCSP Demonstration Library Project has committed to making the full collection available in all 30 JCSP Library Project schools across the country. Access to the collection will be open to the whole school community – young people, their parents and teachers – in all JCSP school libraries In addition, all participating schools have developed links and contacts with Jigsaw through which they will be able to provide additional mental health supports to their student body.The collection is also being made available in eBook format via the JCSP Library Project Digital Library. Membership of this Digital Library is free for students and staff in all JCSP/DEIS second-level schools in Ireland (250+ schools)

Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Eugene O’Brien and student Carly Dempsey cut the ribbon at the ‘Read Your Mind’ launch in Riversdale C.C.

The national launch of the project took place during World Mental Health Week in the JCSP Library in Riversdale Community College, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Speaking at the launch Joseph Duffy, the CEO of Jigsaw said ‘We know that one in five young people will experience mental health difficulties before the age of 25…Read Your Mind is yet another way through which Jigsaw, in collaboration with The JCSP Demonstration Library Project, are enabling our local communities to support young people and their mental health.’

‘We know that one in five young people will experience mental health difficulties before the age of 25

Joseph Duffy, CEO Jigsaw
Paddy Lavelle (CE, DDLETB), Bernie McLaughlin (Principal, Riversdale C.C.), Mona Metcalfe (Team Leader, PDST/JCSP), Paul Crone (Director of Schools, CDETB), Joseph Duffy (CEO, Jigsaw), Cllr. Eoghan O’Brien (Mayor of Fingal), David Kavanagh (Service Manager, Jigsaw D15), Kathleen Moran (Senior Librarian, JCSP Library Project), Adrian Flynn (Director of Schools, DDLETB), Aidan Clifford (former Director CDETB Curriculum Development Unit)

Kathleen Moran, Senior Librarian with the JCSP Demonstration Library Project, stated: ‘We are really excited about this project as it is the first time that a bibliotherapy collection to support youth mental health has been launched in Irish schools…Our team of JCSP librarians is also currently developing a companion collection of fiction titles that touch on the themes covered in Jigsaw’s Read Your Mind collection. So our students will not only have access to information books – but also story books in which they can perhaps identify with some of the issues and challenges that the characters are facing.’

We are really excited about this project as it is the first time that a bibliotherapy collection to support youth mental health has been launched in Irish schools

Kathleen Moran, Senior Librarian JCSP Library Project

MC for the launch event was 6th Year student and Jigsaw Youth Advisory Panel member Ikihmat Bahdmus, who very ably coordinated proceedings. Other speakers included Adrian Flynn (Director of Schools, DDLETB) and Marie-Therése Carmody (JCSP Librarian, Riversdale C.C.)

David Kavanagh (Jigsaw, D15), Kathleen Moran (JCSP Library Project), Marie-Therése Carmody (Librarian, Riversdale C.C.) Ikihmat Bahdmus (6th Year student, Riversdale C.C.), Neasa McHale (Librarian, Riversdale C.C.)

It is hoped that the Read Your Mind Project will engage young people in learning new ways to support their own mental health and, in doing so, foster a sense of autonomy, independence and self-mastery. To find out more about Read Your Mind or to search for other mental health information for young people, their parents and guardians, and those who work with young people go to


Jigsaw is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland. Their mission is to advance the mental health of young people in Ireland (aged 12-25) by influencing change, strengthening communities and delivering services through evidence-informed early intervention and prevention approach.

Jigsaw Services give young people a place they can visit for free and confidential support from trained mental health professionals. They are a safe and welcoming place, where young people can go for the support they need to develop good mental health. Jigsaw work closely with communities, providing training and workshops that help build confidence and understanding to support young people with their mental health.

latest news


Welcome to the JCSP Library Project’s brand new blog, a place to share all of the wonderful teaching and learning experiences happening across our Project. 

What will you find here?

  • Articles on all aspects of literacy, libraries and reading
  • Reviews of activities and events in JCSP libraries
  • Announcements about new books
  • Book lists
  • Book reviews from librarians
  • Book trailers
  • Competitions
  • And much more!

Through this blog you will hear from a very different cast of characters who will share their knowledge, as well as their successes and frustrations, of life as a JCSP school librarian. We look forward to giving you an accurate picture of our libraries and some insight into the remarkable people who staff them. Keep up to date with what is happening by following our posts.

Kathleen Moran, Senior Librarian JCSP Demonstration Library Project.