EMRALD - Working Together to Support Books and Reading
The region's public libraries work closely together to promote books and reading and to enhance the quality of service offered to their customers. Laughter Lines, the latest reader promotion from the EMRALD group has been very successful and was marketed to libraries across the country by The Reading Agency. You can read the evaluation report for Laughter Lines below.
The East Midlands Readers and Libraries Development project (EMRALD) was a three year regional arts lottery funded project to provide a programme of training for public library staff in reader development; to deliver a range of creative and imaginative projects to promote reading across the region; and to develop a three year strategy for reader development across the East Midlands.
The regional strategy (the first in the UK) was created by all 9 public library authorities and demonstrates their commitment to promoting reading as a creative activity. Published in 2003, the strategy set out the future direction of services to readers and gave examples of some of the innovative projects that had already been delivered.
A copy of the strategy is available below as a PDF document, printed copies are available from the The EMRALD Group are now beginning work on their third action plan. It is anticipated the plan will have a strong focus on community engagement.
Staff training for reader development has always been a strength of the East Midlands and in February 2008 the region's fifth staff conference "Building a Reading Community" was held at Chesterfield Library in Derbyshire. Over 100 staff from libraries across the East Midlands attended. Speakers included Michele Jones, national Libraries Adviser for the National Year of Reading, River Wolton, Derbyshire's Poet Laureate (below) who talked about her work with young writers in libraries, and Robert Gent, Assistant Director of Derbyshire's Cultural and Community Services Department who helped to show how libraries work with readers helps to contribute to wider agendas.
More Reader development information:
Laughter Lines Final Evaluation (Sep 2006) 317Kb
East Midlands Regional Reader Development Strategy (Jun 2003) 301Kb