Rosemary's blog: National Libraries Day

Rosemary Clarke

Posted February 1, 2012 by Rosemary Clarke

Rosemary Clarke MBE, 1954-2013, was Booktrust's Director of Programmes.
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Rosemary's blog: National Libraries Day

Director of Bookstart, Rosemary Clarke, Rosemary looks forward to National Libraries Day on 4 February and has details of what Book Trust is doing to get involved. Also read the latest about the Bookstart Corner and Booked Up programmes, and more.

National Libraries Day

I'm sure you know that Saturday 4 February is National Libraries Day, a celebration of libraries, the people who use them, and – of course – books!


Up and down the UK, people have been organising special library events, tweeting with the #NLD12 hashtag and visiting their local libraries. I think the day

will be a huge success and will give libraries an excellent platform in our national calendar of important events.


Book Trust will also be celebrating as libraries are vitally important to our reading culture in the UK, and are such a big part of our work – especially Bookstart and the Bookstart Bear Club.

In the runup to the day we will be hosting two fascinating views on libraries on the Book Trust website. Our online writer-in-residence, Bali Rai, has interviewed Alan Gibbons, the inspirational libraries campaigner, children's author and brains behind the Campaign for the Book.


Also look out for a fantastic blogpost by Ayub Khan, Head of Libraries in Warwickshire, on his hopes for the future of libraries, which you will be able to find on the Book Trust website later this week.


Good luck with all your splendid events – let's make everyone sit up and take notice!


Bookstart Bear Club

We are well on the way to full coverage with one hundred and four library services in England having signed the partnership agreement to take part in the Bookstart Bear Club!


Newest arrivals include Cumbria Libraries and Rock Ferry Library on the Wirral, and you can see all those 92 schemes that have both signed their PA and ordered resources on our online Bookstart Bear Club map.

News from Booked Up

I love it when we get positive feedback from parents and pupils - here is one we received recently for Booked Up, our free books programme for Year 7 pupils:

I am emailing to thank Book Trust for the free book my daughter has received. She chose Mortlock by Jon Mayhew and is really enjoying the story.


She is reading it with her dad and they are both so engrossed that if one of them reads on a few pages, the other one gets really annoyed!


Bookstart Corner: An update from Justine Hodgkinson, Head of Early Years

Bookstart Corner is our new programme that supports children’s centres across England help their most socially isolated and financially disadvantaged families develop a love of stories, books and rhymes.


So far 1,907 children's centres have signed up to take part, and deliveries are in full flow and feedback regarding the resources has been incredibly positive. 


If you work for a children's centres and wish to sign up, please contact and a member of the team will be in touch about availability.


For now I will leave you with an endorsement from a children's centre manager in Warwick:

I think this is a fantastic programme and really good to see that it's research-based and working very much in partnership with parents, recognising what parents already bring and building on that.

Find out more about Bookstart Corner

A health visitor in Somerset talks about Bookstart

This Somerset health visitor uses home visits to gift the packs and has been a keen supporter of the programme for many years.


Here she remembers a few highlights;

I was working with a family that were having behavioural problems with their youngest child. So I suggested we used the Bookstart pack to help mum get this child to walk to school with older siblings with ease. We used the Bookstart pack as a 'bookbag' like his older sibling had for school.


Mum reported that her youngest son felt like his older brother and he even enjoyed choosing a book to put in it, now he even wants to read the book when he gets home.


Another mum reported that she really liked the whole concept of Bookstart as it enabled her to get a foot in the door with what she should be doing as regards 'reading' with younger children as she didn't really know whether they would enjoy it and how to make it fun.


In Somerset, health visitors carry simple library joining forms, it is great way to join the library with ease. One mum said, 'It took all the hassle out of joining the library and so I did it quicker.'  This is a comment I get a lot.


Another mum said that it was just good to get something so nice, an added bonus to my visit. I always get positive feedback on Bookstart.


Have a great month.


Best wishes



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