When you are a teacher, how will you promote a love of reading in your students, rather then just teaching them the mechanics of literacy? One way would be encouraguing them to use a library - when I was a public librarian, we used to have class visits and I would visit the local primary schools for storytelling sessions in Children's Book Week for example.You might have noticed, though, that public libraries are increasingly under threat, at the moment predominantly, but not exclusively, south of the border. Other people have made the case for libraries far better than I could (see the post two below this one for a link to Philip Pullman's speech), but there are still people arguing against libraries on the grounds that books are cheap on Amazon or in charity shops, and we all have the internet now. Well, maybe you were lucky enough, like me, to grow up in a household full of books, both borrowed and purchased (although I'm afraid it was long before the days of the internet), but many children don't because their parents aren't interested in books or can't afford them. A PC and broadband is also beyond the means of many families, but anyone can afford the library (it's free!) and research shows that childen who use one are almost twice as likely to be above average readers.
Saturday, 5th February was Save Libraries Day and many favourite children's authors took part. Here are some examples:
Read in the Herald about the only event in Scotland, at the Scottish Parliament, where Julia Donaldson and Theresa Breslin handed in a statement of protest
Watch Philip Pullman being interviewed in Oxford and see stills of the event on Flickr.
Read the Guardian's blog of the day as it happened.
Read Michael Rosen in the Sun.
If you're on Twitter, or even if you're not, you can follow the #savelibraries hashtag to keep up with events.