Get London Reading

Get London Reading 2008

Write2B was once again commissioned to co-ordinate a series of free author events for Get London Reading, which is a biennial campaign running from 24 March to 16 April. This year the sponsor was 3M and Booktrust commissioned the work. Write2B co-ordinated 22 author events at library venues across the capital, as well as at the Barbican Centre, across a wide range of genres to appeal to different target audiences. These included poets, novelists, crime writers, historical writers, thriller writers and non-fiction. Authors included Louis de Bernieres (at The Barbican Cinema, followed by a film showing of Captain Corelliís Mandolin), Deborah Moggach, John Harvey, Kate Mosse, Blake Morrison, Simon Kernick and many more. This year there was a particular focus on writers living in, or writing about, London.

The emphasis was on encouraging new and diverse audiences to take part, and Write2B, with the support of London Libraries Development Agency, identified libraries in the outer London boroughs to take part as outer London generally has fewer Get London Reading activities. It also provided library staff with an opportunity to participate in event management, some for the first time, and Sue produced support materials for library staff including briefing notes on hosting live literature events.

A Book for Every Londoner

Sue Stewart was commissioned by London Libraries Development Agency in 2006 to co-ordinate A Book for Every Londoner, a programme of literature events in public libraries across London to celebrate World Book Day and support the Get London Reading campaign and other initiatives. The project was to take place to a very tight timescale due to a late but successful funding application to Arts Council England.

Sue programmed a series of 17 author events with national and international authors, including authors on tour launching their new titles. The programme was culturally diverse and involved a range of genres designed to appeal to new audiences — in particular, emergent readers, who were a focus of the campaign. The programme also promoted the publication, Rough Guide to London by the Book, commissioned by Booktrust as part of its Get London Reading campaign, to audiences and participating writers.

One of the aims of the programme was to ensure Get London Reading activity away from larger scale venues in zone 1, particularly outer London boroughs. It also provided library staff with an opportunity to participate in event management, some for the first time, and Sue produced support materials for library staff including briefing notes on hosting live literature events.

A Book for Every Londoner provided London Libraries Development Agency with the opportunity to evaluate the impact of World Book Day/Get London Reading within public libraries and inform discussion about future participation by public libraries. The evaluation report, A Book for Every Londoner, is available on the London Libraries Development Agency website.