Libraries taking part in the Reading Challenge have been busy all year promoting reading for pleasure and working with children and their families. We asked Dundee Hub Library to write about their approach. You can share how your library has encouraged reading for pleasure this year by entering the Library Reading Culture challenge.
Our main objective in the Hub Library and Learning Centre is to offer a warm welcoming space where we can meet the needs of the local community. We use our staff members' talents to offer an inclusive programme of activities and services, and strive to improve literacy skills and promote health and wellbeing.
Working with families
We have a daily programme for children and families. The busy Hubbabuba book group has been running for many years. The group writes creative stories, follows book awards and produces a library newsletter. Over the past few years our Code Club has gone from strength to strength and we now also run a computer club where children can catch up with online homework and play educational games. Bookbug has always been a popular and lively session on Friday mornings, so to offer something a little calmer for new mums we’ve introduced a baby Bookbug session. Finally, at the weekends we get creative and offer a family LEGO club and also free guitar lessons for children aged 9+.
During school holidays we run activities to compliment the Summer Reading Challenge. Last year’s Space Chase theme saw us blast off in our rocket play house, create a big bang (and mess) making planet bath bombs and we designed and animated junk modelled aliens.
Working with local schools
As part of the First Ministers Reading Challenge we have been working with the P4 class from Rowantree Primary School who have been committed to visiting the Library every week for storytelling and activities. The class have a passion for reading and love to select books to take back to the classroom. We found out about the Inspiring Classroom funding very close to the deadline so quickly put together an application. It was fantastic to hear we’d been successful and we were delighted to be able to invite Ruth Kirkpatrick to do a storytelling session with the P4 class and parents. Ruth’s traditional Scottish storytelling, riddles and songs inspired and enthused the class and it was a real talking point during their visits over the following weeks.
We are always keen to try new projects to get more people engaged with the library and using our resources. Last year we trialled a Reading Dog therapet project which was hugely popular. More recently we started two projects to encourage sustainability and wellbeing, in partnership with the Community Learning Team: the Freecyle table is a place to “take what you need and leave what you don’t” and it’s well used by all, and the Foodhub is a weekly opportunity for people to purchase supermarket overstock at an affordable price. We’ve complimented these projects with two new collections of books - Global Citizens and Children’s Wellbeing.
Projects for the near future include a jogging group for parents to improve mental health and wellbeing, and confidence-building messy play sessions for parents and pre-schoolers!
Although libraries may be closed at the moment, submissions for the Reading Challenge are open! We would love to hear about how your library has encouraged reading for pleasure, and you can share it with us by entering the Library Reading Culture challenge. The deadline for entries is 15 May 2020.