Images of Reading
Presentations & website links
Presentations from a wide range of countries and events by Rachel Van Riel of Opening the Book
Click on the links below for reports from a small selection of Rachel’s presentations from around the world.
Library project archive
In twenty years of reader-centred practice there are many projects which are no longer running but are still worth mining for ideas and inspiration. Explore some of the most successful reader-centred projects in the UK below.
Visually impaired readers have the same difficulties choosing what to read next as everyone else except that their choice is more limited by what’s available. Here’s an example of how to open up reading choices by grouping titles together round reading needs or experience and then writing about them in a tempting way. The project created reader-centred taster compilations in large print, Braille and audio formats to give visually impaired readers a new way to choose what to read. Each compilation brought together an intriguing mix of titles with introductory text and reader comments. The large print booklists stand as a good example of how to approach a reader-centred promotion and how to write about books in a reader-centred way.
A Bookchain can most simply be described as a reading group that doesn’t meet. It is an ideal option for readers who want to share their reading experiences but don’t have the time or inclination for a regular face-to-face group. Readers are grouped together – three or four people per bookchain is typical – and they choose, write about and pass on books to other member of their chain in a process managed by the library staff.
Blind Date was part of a web project called What are you up to? It was run in partnership between East Midland Reader and Development Project (EMRALD) and Opening the Book between 2000 and 2003 and was targeted at readers aged 16-25. An editorial group of one member of staff from each of the nine participating authorities worked with an Opening the Book site manager to plan site content and development. The resulting website was ground breaking in style and content and linked online and offline services.
Give me a break
Give me a break was the first dual language Welsh/English site for readers. It enables readers to choose their books according to the kind of break they are looking for – for example: a break from the kids (rhag y plant) or a break from stress (rhag y bwrlwm). The target audience for this site is readers in their 20s and 30s, taking on board the specific needs of this age group: first job/unemployment; first baby/unattached; experimenting with first experience with extreme sports and travel/bogged down with domesticity and work boredom. The website was complemented by posters and book displays in libraries – connecting online and offline activity.
The Ønskebok website is the largest international project Opening the Book has undertaken.
Opening the Book won the contract to deliver the Read part of the People's Network service.
Opening the Book was contracted by SLIC/CILIPS to deliver a training programme involving all 32 Scottish Library authorities
Stock Quality Health Check
The Stock Quality Health Check was developed for the Audit Commission, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England.
Branching Out was a national reader development project which ran from 1998 to 2006.
A three-year project for readers that unites every library service in Wales