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New Suffolk Libraries campaign aims to get people reading

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 February 2016

The launch of the 'Our Year of Reading' at Ipswich Library.

The launch of the 'Our Year of Reading' at Ipswich Library.

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A campaign has been launched by Suffolk Libraries to people of all ages across the county into reading.

While literacy continues to be a nationwide issue, library bosses are keen to encourage reading as a pleasurable activity, through a number of events, competitions and ongoing projects as part of the ‘Our year of reading’ campaign.

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “It’s never too late to start your reading journey and the library is the perfect place to do that – with free access to hundreds of thousands of titles in various formats, and hundreds of events and activities throughout the year for families, older people, avid readers and those just starting to enjoy books.

“Our campaign is also about celebrating the many other events and projects round the county.”

The campaign has already gained the backing of authors based in Suffolk, who are set to appear at events this year.

Suffolk-based author James Campbell, who joined Ipswich Library for the launch, said: “It’s a marvellous idea – it’s so simple but anything that makes reading a normal thing to do is good.

“I tend to encourage children to write because that is exciting for them, and they can express themselves, and that’s how I get children into reading.”

The Our year of reading campaign will feature a number of strands, including outreach work with schools through dedicated literacy ambassador Matt Shenton and the Chatterbooks programme to get children reading, as well as a calendar of events and book festivals.

A number of national projects are being run, including Reading Ahead launched by the Reading Agency to change perceptions of reading, and the Reading Hack project aimed at inspiring young readers.

A major conference has been set up for May 27 for education chiefs to discuss ideas with libraries over ways to achieve a new reading culture in schools.

Colin Rockall, a member of Suffolk Libraries board, said: “The popularity of events such as the Lavenham festival demonstrates a clear appetite across our county for books and reading. We want to encourage more and more people to enjoy that experience.”

To find out more about upcoming events visit www.suffolklibraries.co.uk.

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