Last week World Book Day celebrated its 20th anniversary and Oakham’s Smallbone Library, which recently celebrated its own 20th birthday, was delighted to not just support and take part in World Book Day but, more importantly, to take the chance to celebrate 20 years of actively encouraging students to read.
“World Book Day is just one of the many events or initiatives that we host to encourage reading,” says Lucy Breag, one of Oakham’s four Librarians, who has the specific remit of reader development.
This year, to celebrate World Book Day, Oakham’s teachers were encouraged to bring in their current, or favourite book, to share with their students. The idea was to start a conversation about reading, to show the breadth of books being read amongst the teachers, and to hopefully further encourage students to embark on a lifelong reading journey.
World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is observed in over 100 countries around the globe. Throughout the years, the Smallbone Library has enthusiastically supported World Book Day with a vast array of displays and activities. This includes, alongside reading sessions and dressing up, pitching ‘reading tents’, organising quizzes, holding story-building competitions and offering craft activities. Back in 2010, the library hosted a Balloon Debate, with pupils voting to ‘keep’ various fictional characters – with James Adams from Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB series of books winning! The library also holds an annual book sale; proceeds were initially sent to Book Aid International (the official charity of World Book Day) and in recent years they have been allocated to the IB CAS Philippines Project.