Following the Irish tour of the much-admired Silent Books exhibition last year, several libraries are now buying their own sets.
The hundred-plus wordless picture books from around the world visited Ballyroan, Tallaght and Tralee libraries as well as dlr LexIcon between April and June 2017. They were accompanied by workshops in which primary school pupils learned the story behind the collection, one set of which is housed permanently on the island of Lampedusa, a transit point for refugees entering Europe. Children browsed the books; stepped into the shoes, hopes and fears of those forced to flee, and designed their own ideal countries of refuge complete with laws, flags, foods and even languages.
The beautiful exhibition has now inspired librarians in South Dublin and Galway to order sets, and dlr LexIcon is currently cataloguing its recently-arrived collection.
IBBY Ireland is excited and delighted by the noise the Silent Books are making around the country.
‘The exhibition was an absolute gift. It appealed to all ages from babies to primary and
secondary school pupils, artists and illustrators, storytellers, authors and of course the
public. The workshops were a brilliant, a thought-provoking way to encourage children's
creativity, problem-solving and team work. They could be replicated in any classroom in the
country, bringing understanding and sensitivity in a really practical way … of the plight of
refugees and displaced peoples.’
Marian Keyes, programmer of events and exhibitions at the dlr LexIcon.
‘Tralee Library enjoyed hosting the Silent Books exhibition in June. We did have a number of
classes who visited specially to view it. It was great to see the children engage with the
concept of books not needing words to tell a story - books that children of all nationalities
Maria Doyle, Tralee Library