Reading Champion revealed at Craigmillar Library

Edinburgh's Craigmillar area has today (Monday) been named as one of Scotland’s first ever Reading Communities.

Claire Askew
Claire Askew, pictured with fellow Reading Champions, Donny O'Rourke and Alex Patience.

The new initiative, which was announced by Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop at Craigmillar Library, also kicked off local celebrations for Book Week Scotland 2015.

Set up by the Scottish Book Trust, special "reading champions" will lead the country’s four Reading Communities and will be tasked with delivering innovative projects with local communities to encourage interest in books from all ages.

Claire Askew, a poet, writer and creative writing teacher, has been appointed as Craigmillar's champion and will take up her post in March next year.

Claire said: "I am so pleased to have been selected and I'm especially pleased that I'll get to work alongside the brilliant team at Craigmillar Library - I can't wait to get started!"

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, said: "Craigmillar being named as one of the first Reading Communities in Scotland is excellent news – congratulations to our new champion. This is a fantastic initiative and I am sure that it will help us to encourage people to make books an even bigger part of their everyday lives.

"Reading is such a wonderful pastime and thanks to the Capital's public libraries, you can take books home free or read them online, I would encourage everyone to visit their local library today and find out just how much they have to offer people of all ages."

Edinburgh's libraries will host an array of authors throughout Book Week, who will be giving free talks about their work – times and places are on the website. Writer Cathy Rentzenbrink and Douglas Lindsay will be reading copies of Journeys, which is being given out free during the Week, on a tram at Edinburgh Airport this Friday.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, added: "I am delighted to announce our Reading Communities for 2016. We had a really high standard of applicants but I am sure the four areas we have chosen will deliver some really creative and collaborative projects with their dedicated Reading Champions, to involve and inspire their local communities.

"Scottish Book Trust also looks forward to working with the Champions and the libraries to engage local people with our programmes including our annual story gathering campaign and Book Week Scotland."

Book your tickets for events at www.edinburghreads.eventbrite.co.uk

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