All invited to celebrate reading

6th November 1998 at 00:00
PLEASE reassure Hilary Wilce "So why didn't they ask me?" (TES, October 23) that she has not missed the National Year of Reading party. In libraries we celebrate reading all year long, every year. We are acutely aware of our role in making reading for leisure, learning and business a skill within everyone's reach.

The Library Association holds a database of the year's activities in libraries. The emphasis is on sustainable activities which allow participants to develop at their own pace, in a way which is useful to them.

Libraries are concentrating on establishing strategic links with organisations and businesses in the community to make sure that the reading message reaches the right people. We are working with health authorities, the Book Trust and Sainsbury's to ensure that every mother with a new baby receives a free book and information about sharing books with their child. A BBC telephone hotline has been referring parents to their local library for more information and activities for babies.

Families are being encouraged to read together in family reading groups, teenagers write reviews and feature articles for BOOX magazine. Children sustain their reading skills over the summer with holiday reading games. Homework clubs encourage children and families to learn.

Visit Bolton, the reading town which aims to make everyone in the borough a library member. Library staff are working with local businesses talking to employees about their reading needs at reading surgeries.

Please don't feel left out, Hilary. Why not form a reading group of your own? We would be very happy to offer some tips.

Ross Shimmon Chief executive The Libraries Association 7 Ridgmount Street, London

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