FREDERICTON (GNB) – Young readers recorded the highest total of books read since 1997 and the second-highest total in the history of the summer reading club run by the New Brunswick Public Library Service. In addition, the program enrolled the highest number of readers in eight years.

"The summer reading club is one of the most important initiatives for our libraries,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy. “Each fall, statistics are collected to provide a benchmark for growth. We are always looking to improve our programs, and by measuring enrolment and participation, we can evaluate and better plan for reaching higher targets in the years to come."

This summer’s results include:

●    young readers recorded the highest total of books read since 1997, reading a total of 264,598 books, magazines or websites. This was a 10-per-cent increase from last year and the second-highest total in the program's history.
●    the program enrolled the highest number of readers since 2004, reaching 11,197. This was a four-per-cent increase from last year.
●    activity leaders are hired each year to provide on-site activities for participants. This year, participation in these events increased by 11 per cent.

"The summer reading club is one tool to help parents and caregivers reinforce literacy skills outside of the classroom,” said Soucy. “Children experience the joy of reading and learning in a fun, social and community-based environment. I am also particularly proud that the program creates jobs that help give young workers the necessary skills and work experience to be successful in the labour market in the future.

Each year since 1991, children of all ages have been invited to join the free provincial library program during June, July and August. The program encourages reading during the school break. It has grown to include magazines and online resources such as literacy games.

"It is important to consistently evaluate our programs to ensure our government is making sound investments,” said Soucy. “With this year's results, we know our investment of more than $300,000 in this initiative is supporting our efforts to improve youth literacy and enhancing the quality of life for New Brunswickers."


●    New Brunswick Public Library Service