24 April 2009

Reading for Life

You may remember reading on our blog last year about the 2008 National Year of Reading, at the end of March, the National Year of Reading team published Reading: The Future, a report that reviews both the achievements of the Year and all that we learnt about promoting reading. Significantly, the report details the impact of the Year on the attitudes and behaviours of key target audiences.

The most important message in the NYR report is that it worked. Behaviours and attitudes to reading among target audiences were benchmarked at the beginning of the campaign; the survey was repeated at the end of the campaign to see if there had been any shifts. The headline data shows:
  • Nearly 13 million individuals in target social groups C2DE were reached through the campaign, 57% of the total C2DE adult population (only 75% of this segment of the population can be reached through the media)
  • A significant increase in library membership among C2DE parents and their children; 70% of these children are now members, compared with 58% before the campaign
  • An increase in library membership nationally; 2.3million new library members recruited between April and December 2008
  • A significant increase in the proportion of C2DE parents reading to their children every day (from 15% to 20%).
  • Among C2DE fathers who read to their children, over a quarter say they now read every day compared with 19% at the baseline survey
  • A significant increase in children saying they read with their mothers every day (32% up from 17%)

This is all fantastic news, and this is a moment when everyone who worked to make the National Year of Reading a success should be proud. Every librarian, teacher, tutor, local authority adviser, publisher, bookseller and early years practitioner who promoted the National Year of Reading is a stakeholder in its success and should be relating to their managers their contribution to these achievements.

To build on the success of the National Year of Reading, the
National Literacy Trust has launched Reading for Life, a new campaign to continue the work of the Year by improving the life opportunities of people in most need through reading.

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