2012 National Year of Reading – ACT Ambassadors announced

Canberrans from all walks of life are already getting excited about 2012’s National Year of Reading – and who could blame them? Libraries ACT recently revealed the ambassadors for the ACT, which includes politicians (Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, Simon Corbell and Kate Lundy), authors (Jackie French, Marion Halligan), people in the media (Louise Maher, Mark Carmody) and a host of sportspeople, including the entirety of the Canberra Roller Derby League who had the following to say:

Any future derby girl or referee worth their skates has to first cut their teeth on 35 pages of essential rules reading before they can even think about hitting the flat track. At CRDL we believe that reading is one of the most enjoyable and essential skills for children and adults to learn, love and embrace.

Ambassadors from the Canberra Roller Derby League with ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher

Ambassadors from the Canberra Roller Derby League with ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher via Libraries ACT on Flickr (for bonus points, pick which Roller Girl is also a librarian!)

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Make sure you check out the full list of national and state ambassadors and get involved with your local community in 2012 to spread the love of reading!

From bad to worse

The UK National Literacy Trust have just put out a report that reveals some worrying statistics.The findings of the report, The gift of reading in 2011 : children and young people’s access to books and attitudes towards reading, note the worrying trend that:

the number of children who do not own a book is increasing. Seven years ago 1 child in 10 did not have a book of their own while today the figure stands at a startling 1 child in 3.

The figure of 1 in 3 UK children without a book of their own equates to approximately 3.8 million children.

The findings of the study suggest a clear linkage between a child’s reading ability and receiving and owning books of their own but, alarmingly,

about a fifth of children [surveyed] said they had never been to a book shop or a library.

I suppose it’s not too surprising given the high number of UK library closures and the current state of the publishing industry, but it certainly is sobering.

The National Literacy Trust is currently raising money to purchase books for disadvantaged (bookless!) children. You can support their efforts by donating online and receiving a lovely children’s book illustrator’s Christmas card in return. You could also buy someone small you know a book for Christmas.

Forming a habit

Habits are formed through exposure and repetition. Good habits, like reading, should start very young according to the Finnish Library Association who made this great ad to celebrate their 100th anniversary in September 2010.

Originally spotted over at Stephen’s lighthouse.

National simultaneous storytime

What will you be doing at 11 o’clock this morning? Does it involve reading about a little white dog?

National siultaneous storytime

Yes, that’s right – today is national simultaneous storytime! All around the country, librarians and community members will be pulling out all the stops to promote reading and literacy in children by simultaneously reading from Bruce Whatley and Rosie Smith’s book “Little white dogs can’t jump“. Join in at a library near you!

Copyright in the real world

Cory Doctorow (the well known author, blogger, co-editor of Boing-Boing, copyright crusader) recently gave a speech at the National Reading Summit on reading and the way that copyright is currently working (or not, depending on your viewpoint).

You can find the first part of Cory’s speech entitled “How to destroy the book” here and, when you’re done, do yourself a favour and read the second part as well.