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Devon Libraries celebrate World Book Night 2017

Posted on 21 Apr 2017

Blog by Kate Mackenzie, Service Development ManagerWorld Book Night 2017 in Devon Libraries

Libraries across Devon are gearing up to celebrate World Book Night with a range of events and a bundle of free books to give away.

Run every year on 23rd April by national charity The Reading Agency, World Book Night is committed to reaching the millions of people in the UK who don’t regularly read for pleasure or own books.

Devon Libraries, run by Libraries Unlimited, will be doing their bit to encourage and promote reading with an array of events and gifting free copies of A Very Distant Shore, written by Sunday Times bestselling author, Jenny Colgan.

Exeter Library will be holding two ‘meet the author’ events. On April 27th Simon Hall, the BBC Crime Correspondent for the South West and author of The TV Detective novels, will be in the library talking about his latest book ‘Justice Mirror’.  On 29th April, Exeter-based author Lucy Banks will be in the Library for a talk and book signing to promote the release of her new book ‘The Case of the Green-Dressed Ghost’. (Find out more about these events here).

South Molton and Dawlish Libraries have held events in advance of World Book Night, with South Molton Library hosting an event with Bideford-based author Liz Shakespeare, who discussed her latest novel, The Postman’s Poet. Dawlish Library staff welcomed local author, dancer, mother, artist, carer and child of the sixties, Andrea Kitt. Andrea’s talk, how to tell your life story, was an insight into how she wrote her own story with tips to encourage aspiring writers on how they could get started on their own.

To encourage a new and diverse audience to take up reading for pleasure, several libraries will be giving away copies of A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan to groups of people that are new to reading or use library services for family members but not for themselves.

Kingsbridge Library will be gifting copies of the book to people and families that visit the local food bank, and Kingskerswell Library is launching a new afternoon Reading Group where the books will be distributed to the new members. Combe Martin Library is hosting a ‘singles night’ where each attendee will receive a copy of the novel.

To encourage parents to find time to enjoy reading for themselves as well as their children, Exeter Library will give away copies to parents that attend the regular Books with Buggies sessions and St Thomas Library will be sharing the novel with parents and carers at the Bounce and Rhyme group.

Debbie Affleck, Library Supervisor at HMP Exeter will distribute copies of C.L Taylor’s The Missing amongst prisoners that do not currently use the library service, with the aim of encouraging more people to improve their literacy skill levels.

Research from The Reading Agency has shown that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and can contribute to positive mental health.  However, in England alone, 36% of people don’t regularly read (DCMS, 2015).

World Book Night brings together a powerful collaboration of national partners – publishers, printers, libraries, booksellers, private donors, trusts and foundations. In 2015 Nearly two thirds (64%) of those who received a book on World Book Night 2016 said it encouraged them to read more, while 88% of those who gave out books said they had talked about books more since taking part.

David Almond, author, says: “What a great, optimistic, liberating, democratic project. What a wonderful way to celebrate one of humankind’s greatest creations. What a truly creative way to encourage people to read one book, then another, then another, to encourage people to become lifelong readers. The Reading Agency and World Book Night are forces for development and change. They really are helping to create a better world.”

Through supporting initiatives such as World Book Night and encouraging people of all ages to start reading, Libraries Unlimited believes in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to lives and communities, improving mental health and wellbeing, literacy skills and providing a wealth of opportunities.

Simon Hall, author, said: “I believe books and libraries are a vital part of our society. The Extraordinary amount of knowledge, imagination, entertainment, amusement and discovery they hold is hard to ever quantify.  But they bring us together, as people, in a shared passion for this amazing world of ours, and for that we should all be grateful.”

Why not join in the conversation online using #WorldBookNight or visit your local library to join in with one of our events. You can find out what’s on at your local Devon Library here.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.