Workplace libraries and other efforts by employers to promote the benefits of reading for pleasure among staff (and in many cases to spur them on to read with their children) have taken off during the National Year of Reading and are likely to continue in the long term. The NYR officially ended last month, but the National Literacy Trust will continue reading promotion work with support from the Department for Education and Employment, under the campaign heading 'Read On'.
Durham Training and Enterprise Council is working on a pilot workplace library project and has also set up a public library in the county council's technical and support services centre. This is in the middle of a business park in West Auckland, where there is no public library. Elsewhere in County Durham, libraries are supplying local companies with books which employees and their families can borrow.
Training and Enterprise Councils and Education Business Partnerships generally have thrown their energies into reading development.
AZTEC (the south-west London TEC) has helped to fund a 'Books for Babies' scheme in Merton and set up a family literacy programme in six first schools. Last year, Hertfordshire TEC and EBP organised reading volunteers from NatWest Bank to work in first and primary schools; the scheme has expanded to take in 25 schools and volunteers from other businesses. More details of activities on www.yearofreading.org.uk Besides its involvement in Book Shift, Ford has also signed up for the 'Orange Talks Books at Work' programme, which provides booklists and support materials to develop staff reading groups. Boots and Marks amp; Spencer are among the other companies taking part. For more details, see the web site www.orangeprize.com LaunchPad's Reaching Parents programme (see main feature) will be the focus of a report and conference next year.