Laureate International Library (Past Laureate Project)

Laureate International Library with Siobhán Parkinson

The Laureate International Library is an initiative of Siobhán Parkinson and Children’s Books Ireland. It aims to introduce Irish children to a wide range of international children’s literature.

The Laureate International Library, or LIL, comprises of two sets of more than 100 Irish and international children’s books selected by Siobhán Parkinson during her laureateship, as representative of the quality of international children’s writing around the world. LIL includes books by writers from 30 different countries and titles include classics such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Pippi Longstocking and contemporary novels such as The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Italy (Italy) and The Rabbit Revenge Plan (Germany). The collection is available for loan to schools and public libraries. Schools and libraries can put in a request for a loan of the LIL by contacting Children’s Books Ireland at

Following on from LIL, in October 2011 Laureate na nÓg and the Austrian Embassy collaborated to present a two-day seminar entitled Books Beyond Borders, aiming to explore the topic of books and reading in multi-cultural societies.

Discussion of the issues surrounding multiculturalism in educational contexts and the role played by books and reading in integration was lead by Siobhán Parkinson and Austrian writer, Rachel van Kooij. Guest speakers from the worlds of children’s literature, education, multiculturalism and integration spoke on a range of issues, and children from international communities presented examples of books and stories from their own cultures. Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, gave a special address.

Siobhán took the opportunity to launch the Laureate International Library, which you can read more about above. A selection of books donated by various ambassadors to Ireland was on display over the two days of the seminar.


Another joint venture of Laureate na nÓg and the Austrian Embassy was Images Beyond Borders, an exhibition of illustrations by children’s illustrators from Ireland and Austria. The exhibition ran in October 2011 in the No Grants Gallery in Temple Bar, Dublin. The exhibition was launched by Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson and Karin Fichtinger-Grohe, Deputy Minister at the Austrian Embassy. A short discussion on illustration followed between renowned illustrator, Niamh Sharkey, whose work appeared in the exhibition, and Valerie Coghlan of the Church of Ireland College of Education.