North Yorkshire libraries prepare for summer reading challenge

With the summer school holidays fast approaching, North Yorkshire’s libraries are braced for an influx of pupils taking part in this year’s creative-themed reading initiative.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged four to 11 to read six library books over the summer holidays.

This year’s theme is Marvellous Makers, aiming to fire up a child’s imagination through the power of reading and creative expression.

Last year, almost 9,300 children took part in North Yorkshire, which represents a 16 per cent increase from the previous year.

A total of 935 children joined a library for the first time to take part in the challenge, and about 169,000 junior items were borrowed, as well as 5,300 junior eBooks and eAudiobooks.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for libraries, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is accessible to all and provides fun, free activities for children. It is the perfect way for parents and carers to support their children’s reading over the holidays.

“This year’s challenge is aimed at encouraging children to discover and explore a range of creative arts. We want to ensure children continue to explore books and resources over the summer and discover the joy of reading for pleasure.”

There are more than 200 activities taking place in libraries over the holidays. Full details can be found on individual library Facebook pages or on North Yorkshire Council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/leisure-tourism-and-culture/libraries/summer-reading-challenge

To celebrate the launch on Saturday (July 13), Scarborough Library is hosting a banner-making session from 10am to noon, followed by a children’s poetry workshop led by local artist Charlotte Oliver.

Members of the Ryevitalise Project from the North York Moors National Park are demonstrating how to improve habitats at home by hosting a drop-in session at Norton Library. They will be teaching visitors how to craft bee hotels and bird feeders from 10.30am to noon on July 31 and from 2pm to 3pm on August 7.

Camera club members will visit Selby Library to run a photography workshop for beginners from 10am to noon on August 17, and Knaresborough Library is hosting a LEGO-making all day drop-in on August 28.

North Yorkshire’s library service is introducing a new library card design to coincide with the start of Marvellous Makers featuring Agent Moose from books written by Mo O’Hara and illustrated by Jess Bradley.

Ms O’Hara said: “Maybe Agent Moose and Owlfred will inspire North Yorkshire kids to investigate mysteries, explore faraway lands and discover amazing things. That library card is like a secret agent ID that can take them on all kinds of adventures.”

Ms Bradley added: “The North Yorkshire library card has to be one of the coolest things my art has ever been on. I love the idea that Agent Moose and Owlfred will be accompanying so many children travel far and wide on their own reading journeys and adventures.”

The challenge ends on September 7.

To find out more about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, visit www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk