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!


Oh Christmas tree

What to do with those pesky duplicate books that have been weeded from collection? Before you donate them to charity, or another worthy community organisation, perhaps you could indulge in a bit of Christmas spirit like the good library folk in the Department of Special Collections University Library, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland, and make your very own Christmas tree.

Library Christmas tree

The full instructions are available in Polish here (and easily translatable via your favourite online translator), along with a few videos of the construction.


Google searches 2011

Sweet baby Jesus, thank heavens these tiresome queries are being asked on Google in 2011 and not in libraries

Fastest rising searches

1. iPhone 5
2. Minecraft
3. cyclone yasi
4. planking
5. Adele
6. angry boys
7. royal wedding
8. rugby world cup
9. iPhone 4s
10. Rebecca black

Read them all and weep at: http://google-au.blogspot.com/2011/12/year-of-curiosities-australias-top.html

APPA survey

The results of the APPA Privacy Awareness Week 2011 social media survey are in.

Unsurprisingly for respondents to a privacy survey, from a privacy organisation speaking to privacy enthusiasts it shows people are concerned about what social networks do with your posted data.

privacy survey screenshot

Why are people concerned about adverts appearing to them based on their content? It happens already in your searches, it happens in email, why are social networking adverts such a worry?

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.