Young Readers Rule When It Comes to Library Lending

March 2nd, 2012

It’s not all about computer games and TV for Irish children as reading continues to be one of their favourite pastimes. Figures released by the Library Council show that children’s authors dominated the ‘most-borrowed-from-the-library’ lists in Ireland’s 350 public libraries in 2011.

Eight children’s authors made it into the top ten ‘most-borrowed-from-the-library’ list for last year, with Roderick Hunt, author of over 300 titles in the Oxford Reading Tree series, the most popular for the third successive year with over 125,000 library loans.

Classic stories continue to delight today’s children with stars such as Enid Blyton, Roger Hargreaves and Roald Dahl in the top ten, alongside Daisy Meadows, Francesca Simon, and Jacqueline Wilson. Adam Blade, author of 60 books in the Beast Quest fantasy series, entered the top 10 for the first time.

Prolific US writer James Patterson is the most popular adult fiction author for the second successive year with almost 74,000 library loans. Another American favourite, Nora Roberts, who also writes as J.D. Robb, is the second most-borrowed general fiction author with over 54,000 loans.

Irish writers and illustrators, both children’s and adult, are attracting lots of Irish readers, with 15 featuring in the top 100.

Darren Shan, author of horror and fantasy books which have sold close to 15 million copies worldwide, is the most popular Irish author for the third year running.

Joseph O’Connor’s Ghost Light, Dublin City’s ‘One City One Book’ for 2011, was the nation’s most borrowed book last year.

Reacting to the news, Mr O’Connor said:

‘I’m deeply honoured that Ghost Light is the most borrowed book of 2011, and I offer a heartfelt thanks to my readers for making it so. All my life since childhood I have been a lover of our libraries. My novels have been researched in them, and I have many times been the beneficiary of the exceptional professionalism and helpfulness of our librarians. Now more than ever, I am proud to support the libraries and the wonderful work they do for their communities up and down the land.’

Fiction continues to dominate and works by Irish authors are very popular, with 34 making it into the top 100. Room, the international bestseller and award-winning novel by Emma Donoghue is the second most borrowed fiction book by an Irish author.

The lists are compiled by The Library Council from information supplied to the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme by all public libraries in Ireland.

10,229 authors resident in thirty-six countries were registered for Irish PLR in 2011. €179,047.46 was paid out to 4,047 authors in respect of their total library loans. Twelve authors received the maximum payment of €1,000, and the rate-per-loan was 5.21 cent.

Commenting on the third year of PLR, Mark Dearey, Chairman of The Library Council, thanked the country’s librarians for their co-operation in the scheme. ‘Irish public libraries are becoming even more popular each year as the 17 miilion visits and 15 million books borrowed show. Public library staff around the country should be very proud of the service they provide’.

PLR is funded by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

  • Brendan Teeling, Assistant Director, An Chomhairle Leabarlanna, Tel: 087 6184734; 01 6761167; email: bteeling@librarycouncil.ie.
  • Eva McEneaney, Executive Librarian, PLR Office, An Chomhairle Leabarlanna: Tel: 01 6761167; email: emceneaney@librarycouncil.ie.  

Notes for Editors

There are over 17 million visits to Irish public libraries each year, resulting in over 15 million loans of books.

Under the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) scheme, payment is made to authors, illustrators, etc. whose books are borrowed from the country’s 350 public libraries.

PLR is managed by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (the Library Council) and funded by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Most Borrowed Authors and Titles 2011

1. Most Borrowed Titles 2011 (Adult and Children Combined)

Position Author Title
1 Joseph O’Connor Ghost Light
2 Prometric Ireland Ltd/Road Safety Authority The Official Driver Theory Test
3 Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid
4 Kathryn Stockett The Help
5 Jeff Kinney The Last Straw
6 Jeff Kinney The Ugly Truth
7 Jeff Kinney Rodrick Rules
8 Emma Donoghue Room
9 Dav Pilkey Captain Underpants and the big, bad battle of the Bionic Booger Boy 2
10 J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

2. Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Titles 2011

Position Author Title
1 Joseph O’Connor Ghost Light
2 Kathryn Stockett The Help
3 Emma Donoghue Room
4 Maeve Binchy Minding Frankie
5 Cathy Kelly Homecoming
6 Stieg Larsson The girl with the dragon tattoo
7 Christos Tsiolkos The Slap
8 Dan Brown The lost symbol
9 John Grisham The Confession
10 Colum McCann Let the great world spin

 3. Most Borrowed Children’s Fiction Titles 2011

Position Author Title
1 Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid
2 Jeff Kinney The Last Straw
3 Jeff Kinney The Ugly Truth
4 Jeff Kinney Rodrick Rules
5 Dav Pilkey Captain Underpants and the big, bad battle of the Bionic Booger Boy 2
6 J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
7 Francesca Simon Horrid Henry and the bogey babysitter
8 Jeff Kinney Dog Days
9 Francesca Simon Horrid Henry’s stink bomb
10 Francesca Simon Horrid Henry and the mega-mean time machine

 4. Most Borrowed Fiction by Irish Authors 2011 (Adult and Children Combined)

Position Author Title
1 Joseph O’Connor Ghost Light
2 Emma Donoghue Room
3 Maeve Binchy Minding Frankie
4 Cathy Kelly Homecoming
5 Judi Curtin Alice and Megan forever
6 Marita Conlon-McKenna Under the hawthorn tree
7 Judi Curtin Alice in the middle
8 Colum McCann Let the great world spin
9 Judi Curtin Eva’s Journey
10 Judi Curtin Bonjour Alice

 5. Most Borrowed Non-Fiction Titles 2011

Position Author/Contributor Title
1 Prometric Ireland Ltd/Road Safety Authority The Official Driver Theory Test
2 Craig Glenday Guinness World Records 2011
3 Rhonda Byrne The Secret
4 Rachel Allen Bake
5 Craig Glenday Guinness World Records 2010

 6. Most Borrowed Authors 2011 (Adult and Children Combined)

Position Author Adult/Children
1 Roderick Hunt C
2 Daisy Meadows C
3 Francesca Simon C
4 Roger Hargreaves C
5 Jacqueline Wilson C
6 Enid Blyton C
7 James Patterson A
8 Adam Blade C
9 Roald Dahl C
10 Nora Roberts A

 7. Most Borrowed Authors 2011 (Adult Fiction)

Position Author
1 James Patterson
2 Nora Roberts
3 Lee Child
4 Darren Shan
5 Meg Cabot
6 Michael Connelly
7 Jodi Picoult
8 Martina Cole
9 Danielle Steel
10 John Grisham

 8. Most Borrowed Children’s Authors 2011

Position Author
1 Roderick Hunt
2 Daisy Meadows
3 Francesca Simon
4 Roger Hargreaves
5 Jacqueline Wilson
6 Enid Blyton
7 Adam Blade
8 Roald Dahl
9 Terry Deary
10 Julia Donaldson

 9. Most Borrowed Irish Authors 2011 (Adult and Children Combined)

Position Author
1 Darren Shan
2 Martin Waddell
3 Judi Curtin
4 Eoin Colfer
5 Maeve Binchy
6 Sheila O’Flanagan
7 Marita Conlon-McKenna
8 Roddy Doyle
9 Malachy Doyle
10 John Connolly

 Detailed lists of the most Borrowed Authors and Titles 2011 can be accessed on the PLR website at www.plr.ie

The PLR Registrar is satisfied for the information in this release to be made widely accessible, provided that PLR’s role in compiling
the information is acknowledged.