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Details of the 20 books and authors borrowed most often from Irish public libraries in 2019 have been published by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), which compiles the information as part of the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme. The 20 eBooks and eAudiobooks borrowed most often from Irish Libraries via the Borrowbox service have also been published.

The publication of the most borrowed books comes ahead of the first ever National Library Open Day this Saturday, February 29th. Everyone is invited to visit their local library during the Open Day to see all that is on offer and experience the range of library events and activities for all ages and interests.

Eighteen of the twenty most borrowed books were children’s titles with Roderick Hunt proving the most popular author and Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down the most popular book. The two books not aimed at children that made the list were: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and Skin Deep by Irish author Liz Nugent.

When books aimed at adults are separated out, James Patterson retains his popularity with Irish readers and tops the list of the 20 most popular authors, while Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was the most borrowed adult title in 2019. Michelle Obama’s Becoming topped the charts in both eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Irish authors are in high demand with library members; 11 of the 20 most popular adult books are by Irish authors while 5 of the 20 most popular authors for adults are Irish authors.

The top 4 adult books borrowed are by female authors and the lists show books by female authors are very popular with library members. The top 20 lists for most borrowed adult books, eBooks and Audiobooks are dominated by female authors, with 12 female authors included in each.

The impact of the Dublin City Libraries ‘One City One Book’ initiative and the Dublin Literary Award is clear. The 2019 One City One Book choice The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O’Brien is the third most popular adult book borrowed and Dublin Literary Award Winner 2019 Idaho by Emily Ruskovich took tenth place.

Two of the titles included in the adult top 20 are from the ‘Healthy Ireland at Your Library’ collection, which is available in all public libraries to support the Government Initiative to improve health and wellbeing.

Full details of the most borrowed authors and books are available below.

Top 20 Books Borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2019
Rank Author
1 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down Jeff Kinney
2 . My Mr. Men complete collection Roger Hargreaves
3 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School Jeff Kinney
4 . Wonder R.J. Palacio
5 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway Jeff Kinney
6 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The third wheel Jeff Kinney
7 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard luck Jeff Kinney
8 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown Jeff Kinney
9 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
10 . Bad Dad David Walliams
11 . Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine Gail Honeyman
12 . Grandpa’s Great Escape David Walliams
13 . Dog Man 3: A tale of two kitties Dav Pilkey
14 . Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick rules Jeff Kinney
15 . The Boy in the Dress David Walliams
16 . Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J.K. Rowling
17 . The World’s Worst Children David Walliams
18 . Under the Hawthorn Tree Marita Conlon-McKenna
19 . Skin Deep Liz Nugent
20 . Bumpfizzle The Best on Planet Earth Patricia Forde

National Library Open Day – this Saturday

Everyone is invited to visit their local library and take a closer look at all it has to offer completely free on National Library Open Day, this Saturday, February 29th. Friendly library staff will be on hand to show visitors around, demonstrate online services, and sign them up for a library card if they don’t already have one.

Libraries will be putting on a special showcase of their services and activities for all ages and all interests on the day. Much of what is going on will be suitable for children but there’s plenty for adults too. Here is just a flavour of the experiences that will be on offer on the day:

·      Comic illustration workshop and lace making demonstrations in Carlow

·      3D printing and an opportunity to meet the robots in South Dublin

·      Board game bonanza, Lego club and ‘Match Attax Meet Up’ in Cork City

·      Guitar workshop in Cork 

·      Tours of the new creative recording space in Dublin City

·      Slime workshop in Westmeath

·      Try Virtual Reality demonstrations and dance workshops in Wexford

·      Free health checks in Galway

·      Chair exercise classes in Leitrim

·      Genealogy Information Session in Louth

·      Mindfulness Colouring for all ages in Mullingar

·      And much more

To find out what is happening in your library, you can visit where you’ll find links to library services in each county. 

Tom Enright, Chair of the National Libraries Development Committee encouraged everyone to explore what their library has to offer, particularly on National Library Open Day, February 29th, saying, “Whether you want to borrow books, use the internet, make use of digital equipment, enjoy the community space and wide range of activities, or you would prefer to download an audiobook, eBook, or online newspaper to your device, it is all available to you completely free with your library membership. Come along on Saturday, February 29th to find out how to make the most of your library.


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