Library gets behind summer reading

18:39, Dec 17 2012

School is finished for the year for most students but Invercargill Public Library staff hope children keep on reading during the holidays - and they are offering prize incentives to make it happen.

The Invercargill Public Library's annual Summer Reading Challenge is back for the holidays, and staff are handing out a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a Sony eReader as top prizes.

Despite the glitzy prizes, the emphasis of the challenge was not on winning, outreach librarian Kirsty Graham said.

"The whole point is to show kids that reading can be a form of entertainment as well."

The challenge was also a way to sustain the literacy skills children acquired in school during the lengthy summer break.

"Kids are off school for such a long period of time - they are reading solidly all through the year and then they're not reading for three months."

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The contest was open to children and young adults aged from 5 right through to 20.

Senior participants were required to write book reviews of what they read to acquire points.

Junior readers had to read for 20 minutes every day for 20 days to be in to win a prize.

A record 700 young readers had signed up for the contest so far, which she attributed to organisers lifting last year's 600-participant limit.

"We've opened it up this year and we're expecting it just to explode."

Interested readers can sign up for the challenge until the end of December at the library.

A wrap party for the senior participants, featuring an inspirational guest speaker and a prizegiving ceremony, will be held in January.

The Southland Times