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Now read on the national year of reading update;Briefing;Noticeboard

SUMMER LIBRARY ACTIVITIES Two major summer reading activities are being organised in libraries this summer. Reading Safari is a nationwide summer reading challenge in around 85 per cent of authorities created by the library development agency LaunchPad. Children pick up a folder in which they keep a series of cards on the back of which they comment on books, which can be drawn from a selection promoted in the libraries to encourage wider reading. The folder displays a series of fun activities, including word searches and drawing challenges. On completing the Safari, children get a certificate. The project is backed by a research and evaluation programme.


Also organised by LaunchPad is Kick Off! a project which, says the agency, aims to get across the message to fathers "that reading with your son is as natural a thing to do as kicking around a football". A partnership between publisher Random House and public libraries, Kick Off! is being organised in 11 library authorities: Buckingham, Doncaster, Hull, Milton Keynes, North Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Portsmouth, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wiltshire, Windsor and Maidenhead. A selection of books is being promoted though poster and leaflet campaigns in settings such as sports centres, car showrooms and computer stores. Further information from Helen Thomas: 0121 246 2777.

SIGN LANGUAGE VIDEO BOOK TRANSLATION PROJECT With funding from the NYR, the Royal School for the Deaf in Derby has developed 25 signed videos for use in schools and homes. They are a selection of Ladybird and Oxford Reading Tree titles, and will form the beginning of a 30-year project to create Europe's first Sign Language Video Library. For further information contact Colin Ashmore, on 01332 370925.

ENTERTAINMENT ANDUNDERSTANDING This exhibition, which will tour Oldham libraries throughout the year, aims to promote and explore equality and diversity through literature by black and Asian, gay and lesbian and disabled writers and those from different age groups. More information from Colin Brown: 0161 911 4667.

LET'S GET READING From the first week in July, Year 2 pupils in 40 Coventry primary schools serving disadvantaged areas of the city will receive a pound;5 book token each. They will be invited to story sessions at their local libraries where the relevant books will be available. The initiative is supported by the West Midlands Book Fund with sponsors including Powergen. Further information from Anne Fessi: 01203 831654.

TAKEN AS READ This project organised by Rotherham LEA and libraries involves staff and children in two schools taking photographs of each other and library customers reading. School children will add captions, conduct interviews about reading and develop web pages. An exhibition will be organised later. Further information from Mick Connell: 01709 822 555.

A MONTH OF WORDS This Leeds festival, which takes place throughout June, includes readings in libraries and bookshops and an evening of rhythmic poetry at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. For more information contact Jane Stubbs on 0113 214 3337; e-mail:

POEMS oN THE UNDERGROUND Poems on the Underground has launched "1,000 Years of Poetry in English" with 12 poems on display in 2,000 London Underground cars until late August. They range from a new translation by Paul Muldoon of Caedmon's Hymn, composed in the 7th century to Jo Shapcott's ode to a sub-atomic particle, Quark. Also included are an Anglo-Saxon riddle and a Caribbean version of Homeric myth by Derek Walcott. Posters featuring Poems on the Underground are available from the London Transport Museum. More information from the museum, Freepost, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BB. Tel: 0171 379 6344.

READ ALL ABOUT IT Newspapers and magazines are the NYR theme for July. Events include Reading Together - A Family Experience, an initiative run by Lincolnshire TEC and the Lincolnshire Echo as part of the Newspapers in Education scheme. The project recruits parents to agree to read an article each evening with their child and undertake two reading activities a week. Families are also invited to tour the Lincolnshire Echo to see it being produced. Information from Veronica Oxley on 01522 525252.

Whitechapel Library in the London borough of Tower Hamlets will run a series of four workshops on June 26 to produce Young News, a newspaper for schools. Details from Sue Bridgwater: tel: 0181 980 4366.

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