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Partners Enjoying Reading – Schools and libraries working together

Enjoying Reading is an important new initiative aiming to help every child love reading by encouraging schools and libraries to work more closely together.

Enjoying Reading wants to help schools understand how libraries can help them and provide practical tools for joint work. Research shows how central reading for pleasure is for children's life chances, and yet recent international comparisons show that children in England enjoy reading less than their international peers and less than they did five years ago.

Partners for Enjoying Reading is a partnership project led by The Reading Agency and funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It aims to build a more coordinated approach to supporting young readers, by joining up the work of school libraries, public libraries and schools library services.

The partners are

  • National Literacy Trust
  • School Library Association
  • Society of Chief Librarians
  • Association of Senior Children's Education Librarians
  • Museums Libraries and Archives Council

New resources will be launched on 1 April 2008, to coincide with the beginning of the National Year of Reading, to help schools and libraries work together more effectively. These include a website, booklets for schools, and new practical materials linked to the Summer Reading Challenge, a pivotal scheme which schools and libraries can use to join up their work, and keep children reading over the summer holidays.

This is the first time that the crucial contribution that libraries play in supporting children‘s reading has been recognised through a national online resource for schools. This shows how schools can make the best of what each part of the library system has to offer. Case studies show how this can work in practice. There is a bank of ideas for getting teachers and library staff working together to achieve common aims, and a discussion space for teachers and library staff to meet virtually and share ideas.

The website has been created in close consultation with teachers, librarians and educational advisers. It builds on the success of existing programmes and should be a catalyst for more joint work.

The time is right: The 2008 National Year of Reading is an important opportunity. Libraries and schools working together can be a powerful force for change. The Enjoying Reading tools show how the partnership can work in practice and will be a major resource for teachers to use during the National Year of Reading and beyond.

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