If you haven’t already heard of the National Year of Reading 2012, you soon will! The end of the year is fast approaching and next year libraries, schools, writers and readers from around the country will be celebrating reading for the entire year. Now I’m a librarian so in my opinion every year should be the National Year of Reading. So why now in 2012 have we decided to dedicate a whole year to reading?


It might come as quite a shock to literate Australians but according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey almost half the population, 46% to be precise, do not have enough literary skills to meet the demands of daily life. They can’t read a newspaper, a bus timetable, a menu in a restaurant or the instructions on a medicine bottle. This is a worrying statistic and one that not many Australians are probably unaware of. Bridging the gap between those who can and can’t read is no easy task, but the organisers of the National Year of Reading 2012 believe that by highlighting the importance of reading throughout the year we can come one step closer to stamping out illiteracy in this country.


The National Year of Reading is a collaborative project between the government, public libraries, writers, community groups, media and commercial partners and of course the public. The initiative aims to ignite a passion for reading and turn Australians into a nation of readers. By supporting and linking together already running literary programs across the country, as well as promoting and organising new and exciting events the National Year of Reading hopes to raise awareness about the importance of literacy and reading to all Australians both young and old.


So what can you expect to see during the National Year of Reading 2012? Writing competitions, indigenous literacy projects, author talks, writing workshops and festivals are just a handful of the types of events taking place across the country in celebration of the National Year of Reading 2012. Visit their website for more information and sign up for their monthly newsletter so you don’t miss out on anything. And don’t forget to look out special events running at your local library because public libraries are right behind this initiative and will be doing all they can to encourage a love of reading and increase literacy levels in this country.

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