Victoria’s public libraries have received $1 million from Premier’s Reading Challenge Book Fund to support the 2009 campaign.
Local Government Minister Richard Wynne said the funding highlighted the important role public libraries in Victoria play in supporting students undertaking the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
“The Brumby Government is taking action to help more of Victoria’s young people get the most out of their local libraries and to develop their literacy skills and appreciation of books,” Mr Wynne said.
“This year’s Premier’s Reading Challenge was enormously successful with more than 210,000 students from 1300 schools participating in the program.
“In 2008, more than 20,000 children in Prep explored reading at school for the first time and 3400 Year 10 students accepted the Premier’s invitation to join the Challenge.
“The Premier’s Reading Challenge has resulted in an increase in reading among school students and this additional $1 million for local libraries from the Book Fund will build on the program’s success by helping our public libraries to acquire books and materials on the Challenge reading list.”
A funding commitment of $6 million to the Premier’s Reading Challenge Book Fund was made as part of the 2007-08 State Budget, with $5 million allocated to public libraries and $1 million to school libraries over a four-year period.
In 2008-09 each of the 45 council library services will receive funding as part of the Premier’s Reading Challenge Book Fund to help support children around the state complete the Challenge.
Vision Australia will also receive $12,500 to ensure that vision impaired students are able to take part in the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP welcomed the additional funding of $30,969 to libraries within the Corangamite Regional Libraries Corp, which she said would help young people in the area take part in the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
“I am thrilled that the Corangamite Regional Libraries Corp is part of this initiative, as it encourages children and teenagers in our community to get involved in reading and lifelong learning,” Ms Tierney said.
The announcement is part of the Brumby Government’s recent commitment of a record $38.2 million funding for Victorian libraries in 2008-09, which also includes $4.62 million for the 2008 Living Libraries Program.
“The Victorian Government recognises the value of public libraries to the community, and this recognition if reflected in our contribution towards library infrastructure and resources,” Mr Wynne said.