READ! Singapore 2010 Reached Out to More Than 45,000 Participants through over 370 Activities

Release Date : 30 Aug 2010

New initiatives to reach out to an even wider audience - READ! IT and Game2Read

More Reading Clubs were set up across communities and schools

SINGAPORE, 30 August 2010 – READ! Singapore 2010, an annual nationwide campaign of the National Library Board (NLB), successfully reaches out to over 45,000 participants through more than 370 book discussions and reading related activities. Launched in 2005, READ! Singapore promotes a culture of reading fiction among Singaporeans.

The theme for this year's campaign, 'Roads Less Travelled', aims to encourage Singaporeans from various walks of life to share their perspectives and experiences in making unconventional life choices. Targeted at those aged 15 years old and above, the campaign engaged the public with a line-up of exciting and innovative activities to cultivate the joy of reading, enhance community bonding, and spark the imagination of Singaporeans.

Since its launch in 2005, READ! Singapore has organised over 1,600 book discussions and reading-related activities attracting more than 155,000 participants from across Singapore. To date, there are close to 100 reading clubs formed under the READ! Singapore campaign. One such reading club is the Taxi Sifu Reading Club which launched its commemorative book, Taxi Sifu Reading Club 5th Anniversary Commemorative Book, to celebrate its 5th anniversary. The book was launched by Mr Seng Han Thong, Member of Parliament for Yio Chu Kang and Guest-of-Honour of the READ! Singapore 2010 Closing Ceremony on 30 August 2010.

In addition, ten new reading clubs were set up this year. Reading clubs were also set up across all lower secondary levels at six schools. (Please refer to factsheet for more details).

READ! Singapore 2010 also featured the most number of literary works that explore various scenarios in which the characters took the roads less travelled. For the first time, this year's selection featured poetry such as “The Road Not Taken” by internationally acclaimed poet Robert Frost. The campaign also featured first-time authors such as well-known local singer-songwriter, Stefanie Sun and educator Nurfaizah Tubi.

One of the highlights of READ! Singapore 2010 was READ! IT, Singapore's first-ever infocomm enabled reading event. Jointly organised by NLB and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), READ! IT brought together reading events happening at six different venues simultaneously over a two-hour period with videos streamed live online. The event received an encouraging response of more than 800 website hits over the two-hour period.

Another highlight of this year's campaign was Game2Read, a joint initiative with the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association (SCOGA), which enabled gamers, youths, and the community-at-large to discover the joy of reading through games and sports, and in the process inspire our youth to explore new horizons and reach for their dreams. Gaming and reading activities were held over the two-day event which attracted about 2,000 participants. Books related to gaming and sports were also showcased and were available for borrowing.

Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive of NLB said, “I am heartened that with READ! Singapore 2010, we drew new audiences and presented something new to those who have joined us on this literary journey. With this year's theme “Roads Less Travelled”, we want to go beyond mere figures to demonstrate that this initiative has made an impact on the lives of our participants and also to encourage the public-at-large to reflect and draw inspiration from the selected literary works.”