Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The importance of libraries

I have just been asked to give a talk at a local library and am delighted to do so. As you may know, I am part of the Crime Writers’ Association, which stages events in libraries to do our bit to highlight their importance in an age of austerity cuts. Talking to crime writers, one of the reasons they champion libraries is the impact that they have on children, allowing parents to give their youngsters access to books which maybe they cannot afford.

The importance of libraries’ role in encouraging young readers was further underlined in research which reveals that 98% of primary school teachers are concerned that not enough reading for pleasure is taking place in some of the nation's homes.

As part of the research, commissioned by Booktime, the national free books programme for reception-aged pupils in England, more than 1,000 parents and carers along with 200 primary school teachers explored children’s reading habits.

Teachers said that they could see a clear difference between those children who are read with at home and those who are not: 72% of teachers attributed developed language skills and more advanced reading levels to those children who regularly enjoy shared book time with a parent/carers in the home.

Encouragingly, the survey showed that reading time is on the up in some homes. And where do the parents get a lot of those books to make that happen? Libraries, that’s where.
John Dean

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