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Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure is something I do every day - often taking precedence over more ‘important' things like cooking, cleaning etc!  I can not imagine life without several books ‘on the go' at once, so the chance to share with you the information about this conference seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

Celebrating reading at Reading is a day conference to celebrate reading for pleasure in schools, libraries and homes for anyone interested in young people and their books. The day will include:

  • Honor Wilson-Fletcher, Director of the National Year of Reading 2008
  • Popular children's authors, Helen Cooper and Mini Grey
  • Marilyn Brocklehurst, with her amazing Norfolk Children's Book Centre 
  • A choice of sessions on reading and books suitable for all age ranges from Foundation Stage to Upper Key Stage 2.

This will take place on Friday 5 December 2008, 9.30-3.45 at the University of Reading Institute of Education, Bulmershe Court.  Fee £65 (includes refreshments and a light buffet lunch.) The application form - available from Tracey Pinchbeck, Email: t.l.pinchbeck[at]reading.ac.uk or FAX: 0118 378 8834 - needs returning by by Monday 24 November 2008.

It's also time to nominate the Children's Laureate for 2009-11.  The main purpose of this honour is to celebrate children's literature and its contribution to culture and, through this, to bring to the attention of a wider audience of both adults and children. All individuals are recommended to look at the laureate website where there is an online nomination form - www.childrenslaureate.org.uk  .   This is such an opportunity to keep building on the excellent work done by the laureates so far. 

As a reader I take a journal called Slightly Foxed - www.foxedquarterly.com   - it is a rather unusual kind of book review, informal and independent-minded.  Each issue contains personal recommendations for books of lasting interest, old and new, both fiction and non-fiction, adult (mostly) and children's books that have inspired, amused, and sometimes even changed the lives of the people who write about them.  In the current issue (19) is an article by a school librarian in New York City - Recognizing an Imagination Need (pp 90-92) by Constance Vidor - and I was touched by this article which shows just how important reading and stories are to our total well being -

Librarians still know that stories are important. What we don't seem to know any longer and certainly don't dare to say is that stories are more important than something else. Stories are more important than information literacy. They are more important than knowing how to analyse an URL, select a search engine, create subject tags, build a website, search a database, or manipulate a spreadsheet. All these skills are useful, perhaps even essential, but they won't heal a bitter conflict, inspire heroism, or give comfort to grief......there are still prisons ....all over the world. Some have visible walls. Others have invisible walls of poverty, injustice and ignorance. Most of our students will encounter one of these prisons at some point in their lives, and when they do I doubt very much whether database search skills will be of much help to them. But stories might. In the frozen fields of Siberia, the prisoners who survived were not recognizing an information need or implementing task criteria. They were listening to fairy tales. Constance Vidor, 2008.

Some last minute reminders -

Tricia Adams

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