Libraries are a place of adventure and wonder for kids and adults of all ages.
Long gone are the days of dusty bookshelves, ancient books and librarians who ‘shhhhh’ you for breathing too loudly. Libraries today are vibrant hubs of activity, places of community and belonging, filled with children’s giggles, songs and storytelling. The Hook into Books initiative Members Only encourages all people, young and old, to seek out their local libraries and experience these amazing community resources. While you’re there - sign up and reap the wonderful benefits that library membership brings in the quest for literacy for life!
Michelle Worthington, author of 'Sass and Traz Save the Library' and supporter of Hook into Books, says:
"I wrote Sass and Traz because I was a library monitor at school and one of my favourite things to do was put the books back on the shelves. I loved researching the Dewey Decimal System, how and why it was invented and then sharing that with students during school visits.
When I think about choosing a library for the book's setting, I think it was inevitable because I have always loved reading and being read to. The library was always a safe space for me to retreat to when I couldn’t find anyone to play with at lunchtime. Some of my best friends were in books.
My characters are a combination of children I have met at school visits. Sass has Autism, and Traz has mobility challenges. When I was younger, I loved reading about twins in books, and I knew I wanted to have characters that could sense how each other were feeling and talk in ‘twin speak’ because that always fascinated me when I was a kid. It was also to highlight that children with alternate abilities need to be represented not only in picture books but also in books for older readers.
Ms Burns was the name of my primary school librarian. She was one of the people who encouraged me to become an author. Libraries these days are about accessibility and choice, with children who should have time to wander the shelves, both fiction and non-fiction and choose something that appeals to them.
That’s why having dedicated library time that is longer than 5 minutes and a full-time librarian is so important. It shouldn’t be a rushed or forced thing. And if they want to borrow their favourite book every week, that should be ok, too.
I hope readers and educators will read 'Sass and Traz Save the Library' and be reminded that anything is possible with a little imagination!"
To learn more about Michelle Worthington, visit:
Facebook: Michelle Worthington - Author
Why join a library?
Personal growth and development
We know that exposure to a range of rich and developmentally appropriate literature supports literacy growth and brain development. We also know that there is no better place than a library to unlock the literacy potential of your child (or yourself) by the mere act of being surrounded by an abundance of books and other resources. Spending time in your local library may be enough to support your curiosity and learning potential.
Who doesn’t love a freebie? The range of free resources available at most public libraries now may surprise you. Let’s begin with the obvious – books! Membership means that you can borrow all the books your heart desires. Beyond books though, think magazines and newspapers, audiobooks, CDs and music downloads, DVDs, and e-book downloads. There are free computers to use where you’ll use free Wi-Fi. There are also free printing services and access to adult classes such as a computer and internet navigation.
Events and Programs
This one will depend on your local library, however, there are common themes that are widely shared. Early years baby storytelling, rhyme time and shared song groups are an example of a program gaining significant traction across the board. Libraries are taking proactive roles in supporting strong literacy foundations for babies and children and supporting parents and carers in their roles as their child’s first teacher.
Other events may include author visits, book clubs, reading programs, book week celebrations, poetry circles and media and art classes. Did we mention that these are usually FREE and open to children, young people and adults alike?
So, what are you waiting for? Find your local library here and sign up today!
Click here to find your local street library.
Huge thank you to the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation (ACLF) for supporting Hook into Books. The ACLF is a not-for-profit organisation with representation from across the field of children's and young adult literature. The ACLF's vision is to enrich the lives of young Australians through the power of stories.
Image: Founded in 2008 as the Australian Children's Literature Alliance, the name was changed to Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation in 2018 to clarify the focus of the organisation's work.
Thank you to Prue Perry, Director of Creative Little Artists, who generously supports Life Without Barriers carers, children and young people in the Sutherland Shire to get to their local library and explore literacy through creativity, fun and play!
Creative Little Artists encourages children and their carers to explore and unleash their inner creative flare and imagination in their own unique way. Creative Little Artists believe that we should "let children explore, imagine, create, experiment, be curious, courageous, artistic, independent, individual, unique and most importantly let them be themselves."
Supporting safe and therapeutic conversations with young people
We put children first with the SAFE series.
Helping young Wanderers fans explore the wonders of live sports
“I love the Wanderers. The game was one of the most exciting things I have done in my life."