Results from 2011
Rounding up the impact of our 2011 work we are delighted that, despite challenging times, we had a record-breaking year with libraries. Libraries' imaginative support for reading is profoundly important and we'll be doing all we can in 2012 to help it to continue to develop in challenging times.
Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge gets 780,000 children reading six books over the long summer holidays in their local library, improving their reading range, confidence and motivation
_ "You have transformed my daughter's reading. She was a reluctant reader to an enthusiastic one, who now asks to read." _ Parent, Norfolk
"I thought Circus Stars was really good because it makes you want to read more books and because of it I now love reading" 12 year-old boy, Leicestershire
"When you talk to the kids in the library and they say they love a story, and they tell you why, it makes you love English and reading again. I never expected children to teach me that" 18 year old volunteer, Essex
- 780,000 children took part in the Circus Stars Summer Reading Challenge
- In 97% of UK libraries
- 335,400 or 43% of participants were boys
- 55,000 children signed up as new library members
- The Circus Stars website attracted 73,000 visitors and 1.4 million page views
- 345,700 children attended 17,400 Circus Stars events organised by libraries
- 3891 young volunteers (under 24 years) and 900 adults helped in 62% of library authorities
- 96.4% of the young volunteers gained skills and experience. 81% would like to keep volunteering in the library
- In ten library authorities, parents and carers took part in the Six Book Challenge alongside their children doing the Summer Reading Challenge.
- Library authorities worked with 650 different partners to ensure that the Summer Reading Challenge reached all kinds of children, including looked after children, home educated children, children from disadvantaged families and children with disabilities
Six Book Challenge
The Six Book Challenge is a UK-wide scheme running in public libraries, colleges, prisons and workplaces. It inspires less confident adults to read six books, and in the process changes their engagement with reading. It gets 20,000 people a year into the reading habit, improving their skills, employability and quality of life.
Headline results from 2011
- 18,000 people registered for the Challenge - a third up on 2010, approximately 10,000 through libraries, 3000 through prisons, 2500 direct through colleges and another 2500 through workplaces
- 1052 libraries took part from around 125 library services across the UK
- 30% men and 70% women took part through libraries
- At least 40 different nationalities represented indicating strong involvement by ESOL learners
- 3488 people joined libraries to take part in 2011.
- 78% of participants said that they enjoyed reading more having taken part in the Six Book Challenge and 67% said they more felt more confident about reading.
Our library/publisher partnership scheme
There are now 40 UK publishers in our Reading Partners scheme which develops partnerships between libraries and publishers in order to offer local readers author events and promotions through their local library. 2011 was a challenging year as we began to feel the impact of public spending cuts, so we're delighted to report on another successful year. We:
- Launched Reading Groups for Everyone: a powerful new marketing channel. In the first 9 months, 2,500+ reading groups registered on the site www.readinggroups.org
- Developed our digital collaboration: we piloted Skype author events, launched a new digital action plan and task group and raised Arts Council funds to deliver the plan.
- Found eager new audiences: by helping publicists develop a multi-layered author events strategy. Every year, we track 150 events, and despite the huge pressures on libraries, adult events attracted an average of 68 people (in 2008 the figure was 58). Children's events attracted average audiences of 88.
- Built the profile of new writers: we showcased 41 debut and mid-career writers and pioneered unusual reading experiences with readers at the very centre, such as Readers' Days.
- Built word of mouth recommendation through reading groups. 25 campaigns involving up to 1,000 readers each - to launch When God Was a Rabbit, Room, Young Sherlock Holmes and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang amongst others.
Results from 2010
"He never read before but now he just doesn't want to stop," parent, Wiltshire.
Rounding up the impact of our 2010 work we are delighted that, despite challenging times, we had a record-breaking year with libraries. Libraries' imaginative support for reading is profoundly important and we'll be doing all we can in 2011 to help it to continue to develop in challenging times.
Summer Reading Challenge
More children than ever before are building their reading skills during the summer holidays through the Summer Reading Challenge, plus a new volunteering scheme.
- 760,000 children took part in Space Hop - an increase of 35,000 on 2009
- 334,400 boys took part (44% of participants)
- 430,000 children completed the Challenge by reading six books over the summer - 57% of participants
- 97% of libraries in the UK were involved
- 53,000 children signed up as new library members
- 18 million children's materials were borrowed over 10 weeks June to September
- More than 3 million books were read by children taking part in the Challenge
- 220,000 children attended 15,000 Space Hop events organised by libraries
- A pilot volunteering programme with 20 local authorities, involved 650 young volunteers aged 11 to 19, well over the target of 250.
- 75% of volunteers want to carry on
- All pilot authorities to continue
- The Summer Reading Challenge is a key pivot for libraries' outreach work with hard to reach children and families. Pilot work with the Six Book Challenge in children's centres showed that parents/carers with literacy needs could also benefit from taking part in their own challenge, alongside their children.
Grew the network of groups that get children fired up and excited about reading and writing.
- There are now 550 Chatterbooks reading groups in the UK - mostly in libraries but now in schools too.
- Over 8,500 children aged between 4 and 12 are taking part in Chatterbooks
- 2/3 of members are girls, 1/3 are boys; proportion of boys is rising
Children's Reading Partners
Moved beyond the pilot stage to connect libraries and publishers with children to bring the world of reading to more children.
- Children's Reading Partners moved beyond the pilot with 13 publishers and has since run 16 activities, produced five Chatterpacks, reached 15,000 children and young people and run popular roadshows in Birmingham and Manchester.
Increased the number of young people involved in designing and running library spaces and services, and provided accredited volunteering opportunities.
- Involved 5,623 young people in designing and running library spaces
- 2,415 were involved in leadership roles, 309 to went onto longer-term roles, 36 gained employment and 308 gained volunteering accreditation.
- New non-lottery funded Headspaces opened in Solihull, Bournemouth, Thornton Heath, Surrey, Manchester and Plymouth.
Six Book Challenge
Supported more adults with lover levels of literacy to feel confident about reading and to build their literacy skills.
- 13,500 adults registered to take the Six Book Challenge through libraries, adult education, colleges, prisons and workplaces - up 50% on 2009.
- 1,554 libraries took part - up 28.6% on 2009.
- 4,656 people joined libraries to take part - up 52.2% on 2009. 9,573 have joined since 2008.
Adult Reading Partners
Provided more opportunities for libraries and publishers to work together to reach more readers in local communities.
- In 2010, we tracked 165 author events reaching 11,187 readers.
- These events generated £38,735 - an increase of 17% compared to 2009.
- The number of events we brokered increased by 13%.
- The average number of people attending these events has seen a small decrease from 78 in 2009 to 70 in 2010 but given the current tough times, these figures are encouraging.
- Readers are still buying books, as the average book sales at library events has risen from £226 in 2009 to £235 per event in 2010.
- 14 publisher promotions to help market titles to libraries' 10,000 reading groups.
- 500 libraries took part in Penguin's 75th anniversary
- A staggering 1,500 libraries took part in our most popular publisher promotion, Headline's Summer of Crime.
- To Kill a Mockingbird is often featured at the top of lists as one of the most important pieces of literature in the 20th century and was recently voted the best novel of the past 60 years in The Times. We were very excited about celebrating this classic work with a special 50th anniversary edition. 700 libraries took part in the massive publicity and marketing campaign.
- To celebrate the TV adaptation of Any Human Heart by William Boyd this autumn, Penguin offered libraries A3 posters. All libraries signing up to the promotion were automatically entered into a competition to win a reading group set of 10 new paperback editions and a set of ALL William Boyd's backlist as a further prize for an 11th reading group! 43 library authorities took part and the promotion was displayed in 600 libraries.
- We celebrated new partnerships including Asia House, Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the South Asian Literature Festival, Arts Nation, Waterstone's, Legend Press and Dalkey Archive.
Health and reading
We were funded by the MLA to carry out research into the links between reading and health benefits with Loughborough University.
- We ran a health promotion with BBC in 2000 libraries and five NHS Trusts, 16 colleges and universities and two prisons.
- We piloted a health and libraries partnership toolkit in the West Midlands.
- We have an important new partnership with Age UK.