BBC Local Radio stations are encouraging their listeners to get reading as part of a major new partnership with the country’s public libraries.
All 37 BBC Local Radio stations in England, and two BBC Local Radio stations on the Channel Islands, are teaming up with libraries in their areas and launching a new “Book of the Month” slot.
Each month a different book will be selected and listeners will be encouraged to borrow it from their local library, read it and then join in on air discussions about it on their local radio station.
The BBC has teamed up with the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) to run the scheme.
The aim is to get people reading, encourage people to talk about books and draw people to use their local library service more. Public libraries have a wealth of resources and activities including reading groups, challenges, promotions and author events.
This new partnership will also see BBC stations broadcasting from libraries, joint story-writing competitions and story-telling events.
David Holdsworth, controller of BBC English Regions, said: “This is an exciting new partnership for BBC Local Radio, which I hope our listeners will enjoy being part of. “We want them to get involved by reading along with us and then, most importantly, telling us what they think about the books.
“I hope eventually BBC Local Radio will have one of the biggest book clubs in the country.”
Neil MacInnes, President of SCL, said: “We are really pleased to be working with BBC Local Radio. We hope this will encourage people to read more and talk about books more.
“Libraries provide information that enables people to change their lives: improve health, find a job, upgrade skills, learn a new language, travel, learn a new skill, share in the digital world, open a business and succeed in education.
“We hope this will encourage more people to come to their libraries and see the range of services they offer such as digital access and information about health and financial issues.”
BBC Local Radio stations are starting their “book clubs” over the next few weeks. Library staff from each station’s area will pick the Book of the Month and make sure their libraries are stocked with enough copies of the book for people to borrow.