World Book Night, primarily aimed at adults, takes place in the UK and America every year on 23rd April, the suggested birth and death date for Shakespeare and UNESCO’s International Day of the Book. It is globally recognised that reading for pleasure is an indicator for issues from poverty to mental health and here in the UK 36% of adults do not read regularly. So, the aim is simple: to get more adults reading!
We have used WBN as a backdrop for an event with 6th form over the past few years. They use the library brilliantly for private study but rarely borrow for pleasure! This year there appears to have been a squeeze on the WBN budget and the public has been encouraged to gift books themselves rather than relying on the lovely packs that the organisation produces.
So the Library Ladiez sent out a plea before the Easter holidays to all staff, asking them to “gift” a favourite book of theirs along with a brief note saying why they thought a 6th former would enjoy it.
We were thrilled to receive over 50 books on our return; new, old, pristine, tatty books belonging to all kinds of genres. Miss Usoro, Head of Maths and a keen reader, donated a box of 20, each with a post-it note of persuasion! During the next few days we made up packages, each with a bright label containing the teacher’s name and their words of recommendation, which took over every part of our office space!
As with every year, students are a little suspicious of our generosity and may not be the keenest of readers (or have just got out of the habit or reading for pleasure during their exam years) but curiosity gets the better of them. It only took 15 minutes for all books to be chosen from a display set up in the common room at lunchtime! We hope they enjoy their book, maybe something they would not normally have chosen – and hopefully they too, will be inspired to pass it on to someone else to enjoy.
HUGE thanks to all the teachers and support staff for their passion – and for giving up some treasured possessions!