Monday, March 23, 2009

Reading is a creative, mind expanding, adventurous, exciting activity……
Through reading we can experience what it is like to be somebody else – a different age, gender, culture, sexuality, in a different society, another part of the world, another time in history. Readers embark on a journey every time they open a book, website, newspaper, magazine…… (1)

Readers for life:
The Reading Experience Strategy for North Shore Libraries 2008-2011

Encourage and support reading;
Reading is vital for the enrichment of personal learning and recreation and for the ability to access and use information. North Shore Libraries will support reading for all ages and abilities. (Aim number one from the Draft North Shore City Library Plan 2008).

Why reading is important.

…Reading is a critical skill people in all walks of life need to become active, informed and successful members of society; it allows participation in society not alienation from it.
…Reading allows people and communities to grow and learn.
…Reading contributes to the development of healthy individuals and communities.
…Readers help to develop a creative workforce; creativity empowers individuals and communities. …Readers are independent learners.
…Reading supports literacy.
…Reading helps to support an understanding of others, of wider social issues and a culture of citizenship.
…Reading is an important partnership base for a range of sectors including the arts, health, business and local government.
…Reading exercises the imagination- creating flexible, lateral thinkers.

What is The Reading Experience?

…The Reading Experience is the active work library staff engage in to increase people’s confidence in, and enjoyment of reading.
…The Reading Experience is crucial for information, relaxation, education and communication. It encompasses all formats e.g. Internet, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, Audio books etc.

What is the unique role of libraries in supporting reading?

Libraries are welcoming community spaces in which to meet, browse, read, study and borrow. Our role as librarians is not to teach people to read, but to foster the enjoyment of the reading experience. This is an opportunity for our libraries to cement our relevance and importance in an increasingly competitive market, ensuring that libraries retain their place to “engage, inspire and inform citizens and help build strong communities” (Draft NSL Strategy 2008)

Libraries offer:
…The opportunity for risk free experimentation with reading.
…An open, free, non-judgmental and friendly atmosphere.
…The ability to provide expert staff to guide and support reading.
…A wide range of opening hours.
…Materials in a wide range of formats providing choices for reading preferences

How The Reading Experience can help.

The Reading Experience means active intervention to:
…Increase people’s confidence and enjoyment of reading.
…Open up reading choices.
…Provide free access to information to support a democratic society.
…Offer opportunities for people to share their reading experience.
…Raise the status of reading as a creative activity.

The Reading Experience is now seen as central to the work that public libraries do, and not as an added extra.

Our Strategy

Reading and Learning
North Shore Libraries will:

Ensure that the development of The Reading Experience is an integral part of North Shore Libraries’ strategic direction.
Prioritize The Reading Experience in current and future library buildings.
Ensure quality collections through application of NSL Collection Management Policies.
Respond to the needs of a diverse community by providing a range of titles, formats and languages.
Support a range of national and local initiatives to ensure that readers have exposure to promotions, events, competitions, awards and authors.
Identify opportunities in the community for promoting reading.
Ensure the provision of material that supports new readers and those with English as a second language.
Provide opportunities for writers and readers to meet each other to further develop audiences for reading, and to create excitement around the written word.
Ensure that reading for pleasure is promoted at library-based learning activities and programmes such as those offered at homework centres and during holidays.
Encourage the development of family activities so that children and young people are encouraged to read with parents and caregivers.

The Online Reader
North Shore Libraries will:

Make full use of the capability of the library website to promote The Reading Experience.
Facilitate access to on-line resources to maximize opportunities for reading.

Delivering The Reading Experience
North Shore Libraries will:

Ensure The Reading Experience is reflected in job descriptions.
Recruit staff with genuine enthusiasm for reading.
Encourage and support a staff culture that prioritises The Reading Experience.
Ensure The Reading Experience is an integral part of induction and continuous staff training.Empower staff to develop creative new ways of encouraging reading.

“The more you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you'll go.”
- Dr. Seuss

(1) Reader development and advice in public libraries. Peter Conlon, Ellen Forsyth and Jean Jamieson. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services 18.3 (Sept 2005): p106(7).


  1. Its about time. Libraries are about promoting books in all the various genres and I think the that introduction of 'The Reading Experience' is a wonderful tool in which all our NSL Librarians will have a vast array of reading knowledge and skills to help promote the love of reading to our customers. After all, thats what we are about.

  2. It all goes back to:

    1. Books are for use
    2. Every reader his book
    3. Every book his reader
    4. Same the time of the reader
    5. The Library is a growing organism

    S. R. Ranganathan, in Ranganathan's Laws (1931)

  3. Lily Gilbert says
    Having just spent the past 2 months trudging through Spain on the Camino - please note I walked 800kms in 27 days - I felt totally helpless without my reading material - did not fancy adding another couple of kilos to my backpack. I stopped in Canada on the way home (borrowed a library card) and walked 2 kms to the local library and took out a stack of reading material and devoured them in 5 days.
    A library is thought in cold storage.
    Herbert Samuel (1870-1963) British Liberal Statesman.
    love this one:
    My brother-in-law wrote an unsual murder story. The victim got killed by a man from another book.
    Robert Sylvester (1907-75) US writer