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Iain Banks launches Reading Relay

An innovative scheme to attract new readers to Scottish libraries was launched by Iain Banks on Thursday 21 June. As part of the preparations for the sporting summer of 2012 readers will be asked which book they would like to pass on to another reader.

The Reading Relay was launched by one of Scotland’s best loved writers, Iain Banks, at Fife’s Lochgelly Library on Thursday 21 June. Reading Relay is supported by the Scottish Government through its Public Library Quality Improvement Fund (PLQIF) and has been developed by SLIC in collaboration with all Scottish local authorities.

Elaine Fulton with Iain Banks at Lochgelly Library

Libraries will display quality promotional material and promote books on a range of themes including Greece, sport and other popular new titles, especially selected for summer reading. Libraries will also be running local promotional events and encouraging downloading of e-books from participating local libraries.

Fiona Hyslop Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “Libraries are a fantastic resource, providing access to thousands of books as well as e-books through their websites. The Reading Relay is a great way for readers to pass on their recommendations and I am sure that many Scots will find it very helpful in deciding what to read this summer.”

Elaine Fulton, Director of SLIC said: “Libraries have been ‘recycling’ reading for over 150 years. Our key activities are based on principles of sharing with other readers to ensure that the public has access to a wide range of reading materials. Our most popular shelves are always the ‘just returned items’. New and old favourites will feature in the relay and local libraries will be keeping a note of the most popular titles.”

Yvonne Melville of Fife Council said: “In Fife we’ll be inviting readers to award Gold, Silver and Bronze awards and our league table will be on our website.”

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