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Libraries back book share campaign

Bilton LibraryNorth Yorkshire County Council’s libraries have joined forces with the reading charity Booktrust to encourage book sharing as part of the Bookstart 20 campaign.

The campaign wants to promote book sharing as a way of celebrating the 20th birthday of Bookstart, the national reading programme. Bookstart has given away 30 million books since it was founded in 1992 to babies, toddlers and 3-year-olds, with the aim of giving every child a flying start on the road to literacy.

North Yorkshire County Council is therefore asking people up and down the county to make a simple pledge: to share 20 books in 2012. For example, people can share by reading picture books with their children or other family members at bedtime or at any time; they can read to a group of children in school, library or other setting; they can share books with friends or join a book group.

Pledge postcards are now available in the county’s libraries for people to fill in as a show of support for Bookstart. Michael Rosen, children’s author and former Children’s Laureate; Hugh Dennis, comedian and star of the hit sitcom Outnumbered; Michael Morpurgo, War Horse author and former Children’s Laureate; Aled Jones, singer and TV presenter and Julia Donaldson, current Children’s Laureate and author of The Gruffalo are among 20 celebrities to have made the pledge already.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Libraries said:

Book sharing can create a real bond between people, between parents and their children, between siblings, between friends. What better and more enjoyable way to celebrate the 20th birthday of Bookstart which aims to give every child the priceless gift of becoming a reader for life.

In North Yorkshire the Bookstart Baby pack is given out by health visitors in a baby’s first year and the Bookstart Treasure pack is distributed through early years settings or libraries when a child is 3-4 years old. The packs also include guidance for parents and carers around sharing books, stories and rhymes at key stages of a child’s development from birth to four years old.

For more information on the Bookstart 20 campaign, visit

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