Photograph from The Star
In a desperate attempt to get more people to read my blog I decided to illustrate it with a picture of the photogenic country and western star Dolly Parton. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be relevant to the topic of librarianship in South Yorkshire!
Ms Parton (we are not on first name terms) visited Rotherham to promote her charitable Imagination Library project. The scheme involves posting a book every month to all pre-school children. I don't know very much about the scheme but apparently the local community is responsible for purchasing the books and postage costs. The Dollywood Foundation then takes over responsibility for sending them out.
Dolly Parton's visit gathered a great deal of publicity - far more than literacy promotion scheme generally get. Rotherham deserves credit for this publicity coup but it will be interesting to see what happens next. Is this just a celebrity-led flash-in-the-pan or will it be integrated into the reading promotion work that libraries are already involved with? Meanwhile rumours that Dolly will be appearing at the forthcoming SINTO training events on promoting reading to teenagers are exaggerated.
There is a bit more information available on the Rotherham website and I hope to have more next week.