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Libraries NI invites Northern Ireland’s children to reach the Moon by reading!

With the summer holidays just around the corner, Libraries NI has launched this year’s Big Summer Read for children across Northern Ireland.

Children, age 0 – 15 years, are invited to take off on a reading adventure with the Big Summer Read which this year has a theme of ‘Travel and Transport’.

To make it even more exciting, libraries have chosen to accept a very special mission – they are hoping to reach the Moon by reading 238,855 books - the average number of miles from the Earth to the Moon.

Children can enjoy this exciting reading journey from 1 July until 31 August by visiting a local library or mobile library where they will receive a Travel Card to be stamped every time they return a book, with each stamp equivalent to one mile. The more books they read, the closer they will travel to the Moon. You will be able to track our progress on the Libraries NI website.

Libraries will hold a range of fun and free transport and travel related events during the summer including Storytimes, craft sessions and workshops. Some larger libraries will welcome the Armagh Planetarium with their Stardome, which is Ireland's only portable planetarium, offering children a very unique and exciting way to learn about the night sky and their place in the Universe.

Valerie Christie, Senior Children's Services Manager with Libraries NI, explains: “The mission of Libraries NI’s Big Summer Read is for all children in Northern Ireland to read over the holidays, as we believe that reading for pleasure can boost educational outcomes and children who read during the holidays are better equipped when they return to school in September. It is free to take part in the Big Summer Read and it is a great way to keep children entertained during the holidays while encouraging them to read.”

Children are invited to hop on board this year’s Big Summer Read by collecting their Travel Card in a local library or mobile library from 1 July.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

For more information on the Big Summer Read and free activities, call into a local library or visit our