YA Shot is delighted to announce that our library-system partners for 2016/2017 are Haringey (London) and Sunderland!
Haringey was our very first applicant and their enthusiasm for working with YA Shot- and the clear groundwork that we could see would let them take full advantage of the LSP – made them an easy choice. As a relatively small library system, we had space within the programme for a second partner so we reached out specifically to the four library systems that, at the time, had suffered the most swingeing cuts – and were elated when Sutherland got back to us with an application.
Our 2016/2017 LSP partners are the perfect fit for the YA Shot ethos – full of passion and enthusiasm for working to bring author events to young people. We so proud to be able to support these amazing library systems in the face of the terrible continuing cuts to libraries across the UK. While the YA Shot festival may be based in London, YA Shot as a not-for-profit (and charity in the future) exists to support libraries across the country. We’re so pleased to be working in two very different areas of the UK for the second year of the Library-Schools Programme and hope this encourages other library systems to apply for our 2017/2017 programme – applications are open now!
YA Shot funds its own libraries-schools programme in which authors provide free workshops or talks to public libraries so that they can invite in local disadvantaged schools to foster a love of reading, inspire a passion for writing, and encourage aspirations to careers in the Arts.
Authors donate the time for the events; YA Shot pays their expenses and, where possible, provides two free copies of the author’s latest book (one for the host library and one for the attending school). Each Libraries-Schools Programme event pairs a school and a local library. The libraries take the lead on identifying the schools most in need and then inviting them to appropriate events at local libraries. Each year the YA Shot Libraries-Schools works with a different library system.
Long silently recognised as vital to children’s development, empirical evidence about the importance of reading for pleasure is now mounting. It has been shown to enhance all areas of educational achievement and development, as well as empathy, social skills and social engagement. Author visits are increasingly regarded as critical to the success of both public and school libraries’ efforts to inspire a love of reading.
The Society of Authors’ recent survey concluded that “99.4% (all those who had organised an author visit) considered author visits to be an invaluable enrichment that encouraged reading for pleasure, wider reading and creative writing. Visits are described as having ‘a profound and lasting impact’. All pupils were positively engaged including (and particularly) reluctant readers and those with Special Educational Needs.”
However, with cuts to library funding in schools and the public sector, author visits are a luxury that only some can afford – but often it’s those schools and students most in need who don’t have access. YA Shot unites authors determined to help to fill that gap and simultaneously support libraries.