Research by the National Literacy Trust in the UK has confirmed that young people's reading ability is linked strongly to their access to books at home as well as parental encouragement to read. The research, which involved more than 17,000 young people, showed 80% of children who read above the expected level for their age have books of their own, while only 58% who read below their expected level have books of their own.
There are many who do not have access to books at home or parents who support and encourage reading. Then there are young people whose parents encourage them but because of low income do not see that buying books are a priority. I can't recall my parents ever reading to me and although there were a handful of books in my house, neither of my parents read books and neither then did my brothers and sister. My love of books came from my best friend's mother who was an avid reader and very fortunately introduced me to my local library where I discovered the wonderful world of Enid Blyton and a burning desire to write. I owe a tremndous debt of gratitude to libraries and library staff.
So although the research is important and is being used to back the National Literacy Trust's Tell Me a Story campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the need for families to support children's literacy, something I am fully supportive of, I think the NLT should also be stressing the huge and vital role libraries also play in a child's life. If a child can't have access to books in the home then at least they can via their school library and local library. Please don't close them. Don't make these children and adults suffer because of imprudent spending by others and greed on the part of many.
If the Governments, both in the UK and the USA, were really committed to improving literacy and enhancing the lives of the future workforce then they should be supporting libraries not closing them and cutting budgets.
Causes Pauline Rowson Supports
Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund, http://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/text.asp?PageID=2 Motor Neurone's Disease Association...