To promote reading for pleasure, the Ashford College Learning Resource Centre applied to be a giver of books on World Book Night. The LRC was lucky enough to have completed a successful application and was awarded 160 copies of the New York Times-bestselling What The Dog Knows by Cat Warren to give away on World Book Night. The LRC donated 40 copies to the sister site at Tonbridge to give away - so had a total of 120 copies of the title to give away on 23rd April.
To promote the event, the LRC contacted all Ashford College staff, created posters and electronic signage, tweets, in addition to contacting World Book Night with their plans. The team decided to give the books away for the whole of the day, not just in the evening, to allow as many students as possible to access them. The team set up a display at the front of the LRC - not only of free books, but free sweets as well, which certainly caught passing students attention! World Book Night promoted the LRC event on their own website.
The Ashford LRC team were over the moon, as the author of the book, Cat Warren, and Scribe Publications, the book’s publisher, tweeted how excited they were about Ashford LRC’s event. In addition, the author tweeted how pleased she was with the response to the event:
The LRC team were unsure how popular a non-fiction book dealing with a narrow scientific field would be with students. However, all 120 copies of the book were given away by 6pm on World Book Night! The response from students, and staff, was overwhelmingly positive and students within the 16-19 age demographic were incredibly keen to have a physical book to take home for free!
One male level 3 engineering student on the ASD spectrum normally finds it hard to initiate conversation. However, on seeing the free books, he immediately struck up a conversation with the LRC team, informing them not only of his dog at home, but of the genres of books he had just finished reading on his Kindle and as physical books.
A group of female students from the Health and Social Care level 2 course, who all speak and read English as their second language, were so pleased to have received a book for free that they requested the LRC team sign their books. One of the students told the LRC team it was ensure that they were always reminded of “a lovely memory.”
A lecturer in Early Years level 2 sent a student up to collect a copy of the book for her whole class to ensure that her group developed their extra-curricular reading skills. The LRC team noted that students were incredibly positive about the event and had a keen interest in having a book for free, noting they would read it during their spare time.
The event was a great success and helped to promote and support students reading for pleasure.