Skip navigation to main content

Show your support for New Reader Libraries

Written by The Reader, 24th March 2011

It's clear that no one supports the library cuts, yet it is time for change.

We believe that helping people read extensively and deeply, together, should be the primary mission of a public library service, and want to see the creation of New Reader Libraries, with people and reading at the heart of them.

New Reader Libraries will reignite a love of literature and bring people together to share it. Reading and people, people and reading. More focus on this, less on the bricks and mortar. Librarians will become people who go and find others and get them into reading, wherever those members of the public are: care homes, work places, youth clubs, shopping centres, probation offices.

Reduced budgets may mean that fewer libraries are inevitable. But if the service can reach more people and switch them on to reading, literacy, learning and a fuller life, local authorities will have ultimately won a bigger prize.

This is what  we've been doing through Get Into Reading, a shared reading model that develops people's emotional apparatus to improve their personal happiness and social functioning: improved self-confidence, less visits to the doctor and a sense of connection with the wider world, and the inner one too.

Adapting a proven methodology of shared reading, the focus of New Reader Libraries is on reader development, effective ways to reach and engage new (and often marginalised) audiences, and the design of community libraries. New Reader Libraries can inspire a love of reading, whilst also working as social glue and acting as a gateway to other services, especially for those most in need.

New Reader Libraries can stoke a reading revolution that has the power to change the nation.

3 thoughts on “Show your support for New Reader Libraries

AW says:

You might claim that you support the campaign to keep libraries open but through your mission statement and e-petition you seem to be doing everything you can to undermine them. You also appear to completely out of touch with the needs and wants of the majority of library users and campaigners who want library buildings in their communities and want them run by professional and knowledgeable library staff. And by the way librarians have been outreaching into their communities for years providing inclusive and responsive services to disabled people, the elderly, prisoners and ex-offenders etc, they have also been at the forefront of promoting literacy and reading, what you are suggesting is nothing new! All you seem to want to do is capitalise on library closures and library staff losing their livelihoods?

Colin says:

Oh dear. This really should be all about reading not politics and that’s what I find so sad about this discussion. I attend a couple of Get into Reading groups every week – one in a library – and have done so for some time.

I love reading, acknowledge the benefit of community libraries and feel a great sense of sadness that so many people miss out on the pleasure of reading. Personally I wanted to do something to get involved with spreading the word that reading is fun.

And that’s where Get into Reading came to my rescue. I had not enjoyed listening to other adults reading since my school days – 35 years ago. At both groups I attend there is an incredible bond between readers – of diverse ages and backgrounds – brought about by the mutual pleasure and respect that comes from shared reading aloud. So I spread the word – far and wide. Join a Get into Reading group, get away from the pressures of every day life, wallow in the luxury of listening to others read and feel happier!

It’s tragic that the threat of library closures is hanging over communities, but as an individual there is little I can do to challenge what many now see as inevitable. But I can make a difference to many individuals by sharing the pleasure of reading aloud – helping them to find a new passion and a better balance to their lives. And that’s why, on a volunteer basis, I’m learning how to facilitate Get into Reading Groups. I know the model works. For me, Get into Reading was something new and very refreshing. It has reshaped my work/life balance for the better.

But from whatever angle we approach the issue, let’s hope that everyone with an interest in libraries and literature can work together to spread the word that reading is fun and good for you too!

Jen says:

We want to keep libraries open, we don’t want to see closures. The cuts are troubling and we don’t like to see libraries being an easy target, nor do we like the thoughtlessness behind how cuts are being made in too many places.

We know that there are a lot of librarians who have been doing great outreach work in their communities. Wouldn’t it be good to see more of it and more services increasing their focus on the greatest needs?

We want to work with library services, and harness the knowledge and skills of professional librarians, and in doing so reach more readers, in particular those that don’t even know they need the service yet.

Our experience through ten years of Get Into Reading shows that reading can play a practical and important role in delivering public health, employment, educational attainment, if appropriate methods for engaging and developing readers are used.

We want to raise the profile of constructive ways to spread impact and help limit the damage of cuts and closures.

If you’re interested in practical ideas that can help limit the damage, we’re very happy to talk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.