This chapter will discuss the Government-sponsored National Year of Reading (NYR), held in the UK in 2008. The NYR was designed as a social marketing campaign, and the chapter will provide a description of the planning, promotion and delivery of the NYR, so as to show the attempt to reach specific target groups. The discussion will focus on the role of public libraries as key partners in delivering the campaign. During the NYR, a number of reviews and evaluations were undertaken, and the chapter will comment on findings from a case study in Yorkshire, which used the generic social outcomes framework to look at the impact of NYR in two public library authorities. Views and observations from the library staff involved in the NYR, in the Yorkshire case study, are used to highlight the challenges and successes that were involved in the 2008 campaign. The practitioner voice is important – and this chapter reflects the librarians’ view of their experience in planning and delivering the NYR, as part of outreach work with children and young people.
NYR 2008 – celebrating and encouraging reading
The aim of the first Year of Reading in 1998 was to promote a culture of reading. Ten years on, the aim of the second NYR was to promote reading in the family and beyond and to help build a nation of readers (Thomson, 2009). The government-sponsored NYR campaign was about celebrating and encouraging reading in all its forms, aiming to promote reading in the family and to help to build a nation of readers. Plans for a second NYR were announced in February 2007, and the campaign ran from January to December 2008, with organizations and local authorities asked to pledge and plan their support between January and March. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) commissioned the National Literacy Trust (NLT), with lead partner The Reading Agency, to run the NYR campaign, supported by a consortium of organizations committed to promoting reading. The consortium included Arts Council England, Booktrust, Campaign for Learning, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, ContinYou, Museums Libraries and Archives Council, The National Youth Agency, NIACE and Volunteer Reading Help.