April 1, 2010
10-062

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Carly Floyd

Read Fest 2010 Inspires Early Reading

VALDOSTA -- In celebration of National Library Week, Valdosta State University Odum Library in collaboration with the College of Education will host the 4th annual Read Fest from 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, April 16, on the back lawn of the library.

Area pre-kindergarten classrooms from the region will rotate through a variety of fun-filled sessions, including read-a-louds, puppet shows, and reading-related crafts. More than 150 students participated in the 2009 community outreach program to promote reading, learning and libraries. Laura Wright, Odum Library marketing director, said she expects a similar turn-out for this year's event, which is being held during National Library Week (NLW).

"Our goal is for the students to have a positive experience with books and learning,” Wright said. “Read-a-louds expose children to reading in a fun, social setting. Crafts, like bookmark making and face painting, show children that reading and creativity go hand in hand. Reading is vital because it opens doors to the imagination and strengthens thinking skills. The more positive experiences children have with reading, the more likely they will be to pick up books the next time they are looking for something to do.”

Sponsored by the American Library Association, NLW -- April 11-16 -- is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to encourage library use and support. Odum library is just one of the thousands of school, public, academic and special-service libraries across the country observing this year’s theme, “Communities Thrive @ Your Library.” Wright said the theme is meant to express that libraries are at the heart of every community.

“National Library Week is a time to celebrate our nation's libraries and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries, school, public, academic, and special, help our community to thrive by providing access to information and resources that people would not otherwise have,” Wright said. “For example, the Valdosta community can check out books, read magazines and newspapers, use computers, and access information online at the public library or Odum Library.”

For more information about activities at VSU during National Library Week, e-mail Wright at lbwright@valdosta.edu . For more information about the American Library Association, visit www.ala.org.