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Libraries are working together to celebrate Rugby League World Cup 2013 - and to get more people reading

  • Date: 15 February 2013
  • Area: North
Rugby League World Cup 2013 promotion event at Leeds Central Library, image of young boy reading a book at the event

Leeds Central Library promote RLWC2013 and reading, 9 February 2013. Credit: David Lindsay

Library services across the North of England are working in partnership to promote and celebrate the major sporting event of the year, the Rugby League World Cup 2013. In the North West, Yorkshire and Humber regions, the heartland of rugby league, 30 library services will be encouraging people to Try Reading!

The Try Reading project is being funded with an award of £199,700 from our National Lottery supported £6 million Grants for the arts Libraries fund. It is among the first projects to have received an award through this fund and it recognises the positive connections that can be made between sport and the arts.

Over 150 events, including author talks, writing workshops and drama events will take place across the area between April and November 2013. Libraries will be working with local clubs and supporters' groups as well as schools and other interested organisations.

There will be events, activities and competitions for the whole family throughout the year, which will culminate in the tournament in October and November. These Try Reading 'fixtures' will be announced in April.

Running alongside the Try Reading programme libraries will also be promoting The Reading Agency's Six Book Challenge.

Michelle Alford, Chair of the Try Reading Project Board said: 'We are delighted with this National Lottery Grants for the arts Libraries fund award for Try Reading. The 30 services working together will enable us to raise the profile of libraries, reading and literature with a wider audience and, at the same time, promote RLWC2013. Combining reading, writing and drama with sport gives us the opportunity to create a new range of high quality experiences in libraries and in our communities. The digital dimension of the project will help us engage more people in new ways. This funding also enables us to demonstrate how library services, by working together, can attract the interest of major national and international partners to mutual benefit.'

Martin Gaw, Arts Council England's Libraries Relationship Manager for the North West said: 'Rugby League is an important part of the culture and identity of localities across the North and the Rugby League World Cup 2013 is a really significant event. Try Reading will play a major role in the arts and cultural programme which the Rugby League was keen should surround the tournament and it's a great opportunity to reach new audiences.'

Martin Johnston, RLWC2013 Communications Manager said: 'RLWC2013 is the next major sporting event in the UK and we'll be providing opportunities for members of communities across the UK to become involved. Try Reading will be a very important part of that and we are really pleased to be working with public libraries on their community programmes to inspire more people to read more.'

You can keep up to date with the Try Reading fixtures as they're announced by visiting www.tryreading.org which will go live soon and from where you will also be able to join their Twitter and Facebook pages.