Today is …

1 March (BBC | Wikipedia), and thus St David’s Day in Wales (perhaps, then an appropriate – or unfortunate – day for Welsh police to uncover a large illegal distillery in Cardiff), but it’s also: …

World Book Day logoWorld Book Day, an annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading, to which there are several Irish (and Welsh!) contributions.

Whlle I’m at it, next week (5-11 March) is Library Ireland Week, to celebrate and highlight the role of libraries and librarians; during the week An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council) will run a national reading promotion campaign, Readiscover, in public libraries throughout the country.

Much as I like the idea of World Book Day and Library Ireland Week, I can’t help but think of Tom Lehrer’s (casual hacker | Wikipedia) entertaingly acerbic and gloriously politicially incorrect, ‘National Brotherhood Week’ (lyrics | track) (wonderfully parsed here); with the rousing last verse:

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
It’s National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-Hood Week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It’s only for a week, so have no fear;
Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!

Work-life balanceAnd here in Ireland, today is:

… National Work-Life Balance day (via the Equality Authority), to stimulate and support organisations to take action to mark the day and to enhance work life balance for their employees into the future, – this has drawn a characteristically witty Irishman’s Diary from Frank McNally in today’s Irish Times. My own employer, Trinity College Dublin, is already doing its bit promoting family friendly initatives and work-life balance.

Department of Justice logoand, finally, today is also

… ASBO day, the day that Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006, providing for anti-social behavour orders (absos) came into force for children (it’s already been in force since 1 January last for adults). Of course it’s controversial (eg Asbowatch | Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) | National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI)), but the Department of Justice has published an information leaflet (pdf) setting out how the regime is now going to work.

A better blogger than I would be able to derive some insightful social commentary from the fact that, whilst literacy and work-life balance are important, and should be encouraged, it is a sad reflection of the realities of modern Irish society that we need to have days like this to remind us of their importance, and that – ironically – the day that is to remind of us of this is the day when our social fabric has been so rent asunder that we think we need ASBOs to protect us.