Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

The National Year of Reading 2012-Will Your Library Be Ready?

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

The National Year of Reading 2012-Will Your Library Be Ready?

Article excerpt

The first of eight recommendations from the Reading critical: developing readers in Australia and New Zealand public libraries conference held at the State Library of Victoria in April 2008 was that

   A National Year of Reading (NYR) is held in Australia and New
   Zealand in 2011, or as soon as possible, using the experience
   gained from the 2008 Year of Reading in the United Kingdom.

As the initiator of that recommendation--which was sent to a wide range of governments, arts councils, library, publisher and bookseller associations in both Australia and New Zealand--it seemed to me that what the conference delegates had heard from the three speakers from the UK about the impact and outcomes of the UK's NYR suggested an opportunity for Australian and New Zealand public librarians to take a lead in something similar.

And so, at least in Australia, it has come to pass, with the announcement that--focused through the Library Agency Australian libraries and their associations will be partnering with governments, writers, schools, publishers, booksellers, employers, child care providers, health professionals and many other organizations in NYR2012.

Why? Take a look at the NYR2012 leaflet in this issue of Aplis, and on its back cover. As it states

   Nearly half the population struggles with the literacy skills to
   meet the most basic demands of everyday life and work. There are
   46% of Australians who can't read newspapers; follow a recipe; make
   sense of timetables; or understand the instructions on a medicine
   bottle.

   This means that more than four out of every 10 Australians
   are denied the joy and inspiration of reading for pleasure. … 
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