In some of our communities less than one in four families have books in their homes.
Ideally, the starting point is to encourage Mums, Dads, Grans and Grandads to read with their children before they start school. It has been recognised by the National Literacy Trust and the Read On. Get On campaign that building a joy of reading is important. Our Early Years Lead, Maureen Hunt, goes into depth on the importance of providing a banquet of reading materials in contrast to the biscuits sourced by those advocating teaching reading by phonics in an earlier blog however not all children have access to such a wide range of books.
This is where our local libraries are so important, providing free access to a wealth of different reading material for all ages.
The Public Libraries Act 1850 (13 & 14 Vict c.65) was an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament which first gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries. The Act was the first legislative step in the creation of an enduring national institution that provides universal free access to information and literature, and was indicative of the moral, social and educative concerns of the time. The legacy of the Act can be followed through subsequent legislation that built on and expanded the powers granted in 1850 and the 4,145 public libraries that exist in the United Kingdom in the 21st century can trace their origins back to this Act.
This led to the building of amazing social and cultural spaces built to encourage the population to enjoy reading books, newspapers, historical documents and a plethora of joyous words that inform, delight and encourage us all to reflect and question however since 2010, libraries have been closed or access reduced.
During World Literacy week (1st – 9th March) we want to encourage families to use libraries for what they were intended, magnificent buildings that host cultural and social activities for our communities.
Many libraries host Rhyme Time or Storybook sessions for younger children, invite local authors to visit or simply allow users to explore the selection of books and magazines as well as CDs and DVDs available in their own time.
Have you joined your local library? Register today to open up a world of words. If you’re unsure where your local library is, visit this website and simply pop in your postcode.
The Society of College, National and School Libraries and School Library Association is supporting our 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge.
From Thursday 1st March 2018 (World Book Day), children and young people will have one week to read 100 million minutes alongside early years settings, schools, colleges, parents, carers, childminders and other community groups in England and Wales.
Taking part in the challenge is completely free and you can win some amazing prizes, so what are you waiting for? Sign up today and let the challenge commence!