Adopt-a-Library aims to put books in reluctant readers' hands
From left, RCMP Const. John Kennedy, Chris Kennedy and Yarmouth librarian Deborah Duke unload thousands of dollars’ worth of books at Western Counties Regional Library headquarters on Monday, Aug. 26. The books will be used as prizes and reading incentives for tri-county children. (Ian White photo/Western Counties Regional Library)
Western Counties Regional Library received a vanload of books valued at over $100,000 on Monday, Aug. 26, courtesy of the RCMP-led Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program.
“These are brand new books that publishers have left in their warehouses,” explains RCMP Const. John Kennedy, provincial coordinator of the Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program. “The public libraries in the province work with local police, schools, and community groups to ensure these go directly into the hands of children.”
“It’s all part of a long-term strategy to have kids reading regularly. We know that reading plays an important role in helping children feel they have more options later in life, which in turn keeps them out of trouble with the law”.
The books are obtained from a number of national publishers for a nominal fee with the agreement they cannot be added to library collections. Instead, libraries, schools, police, and other groups use them as part of their programming, such as the annual Wow! Reading Challenge.
This is the biggest delivery yet with over 80,000 books and a retail value of over $700,000. Western Counties Regional Library’s portion of the provincewide delivery is approximately $120,000, taking all costs into consideration.
Yarmouth librarian Deborah Duke, who spearheads the Wow! Reading Challenge for Western Counties Regional Library, says the delivery provides the library with the ability to get books into the hands of children for keeps.
“Most of the books will be used as prize incentives for children participating in the Wow! Reading Challenge,” she says. She is quick to acknowledge local Wow! Reading Challenge sponsor Register.com, whose funding helped turn $500 into $120,000 worth of books.
Although it may seem odd for a library to be giving away books, Duke says it is important for reluctant readers and children who may not have books around the home to receive books they can keep and have available all the time.
“It encourages children who are reluctant readers to read more,” she says.
For more information about the Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program, visit www.fightingcrime.ca.