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New Web 2.0 Resource for the Reading Agency
Wed 8 Aug 2007
The Reading Agency is delighted to announce a new virtual dimension to its work helping libraries create community hubs for reading. Launching in March 2008, a new website will create a dynamic social network where young people aged 13+ will be able to share their reading and writing passions.
This builds on the work The Reading Agency is already doing with 20 local authorities to create Book Bars, a new model for teenage library services which combines cafe culture with reading, and gives young people genuine decision making powers about the direction of the service.

'Through the grassroots power of libraries' community connections we'll be exploring new ways of linking physical and virtual communities. If we're to have a next generation of readers, we need to lasso the creativity and community power of Web 2.0 technology to excite young people about reading,' says Miranda McKearney, director of The Reading Agency.

The website (name to be announced later in the year) will make the most of web 2.0 technologies - blogs, podcasts, videocasts, RSS feeds, tagging, webchats - to create new reading communities for young people.  Young people across the UK are being consulted about the site's content, which will allow them to create their own pages and get involved with reading in all its forms - from manga to non-fiction, audio to poetry, books to computer games, plays to lyrics. Site content will also include quizzes, competitions, news, author interviews and advice on reading and creative writing. Any young person can use the site free.

For libraries, who are also involved in the consultation, the site will provide a new way to actively engage with young people around reading. It will showcase how they are changing to meet the reading needs of 21st century young people.

From September 2007, libraries and schools will be able to see what the site will look like and how it will work. Libraries will be able to use the site to create their own young people's reading spaces. For a user's licence fee, schools and libraries will get advance information on new content, support on how to make the most of their virtual space, and access to events, booklists and reading activity ideas.

'We've been able to drive change in the library system through our nationwide Summer Reading Challenge which uses a combination of books, IT and community events to fire children up about reading. This new website, combined with the Book Bars model, is an experiment which we hope will effect the same kind of change for the teenage audience,' continues Miranda McKearney.

Contact Information:
The Reading Agency
Contact Name:
Ruth Harrison 020 7297 5058
Contact Email: