The Australian Reading Hour

 

The Australia Reads campaign, incorporating the Australian Reading Hour, was a huge success in 2019 with more than 240 registered events across all Australian states and territories, featuring appearances from more than 60 authors. Many of these events were held in Australian public libraries, with attendance from more than 1,400 people. Libraries created the Australian Reading Hour as part of the National Year of Reading in 2012, and it has turned into a massive event, supported by federal government, state government, media channels, shopping centres, transport networks and other big name partners. Following on from the success of the Australian Reading Hour 2019, the campaign has been rebranded Australia Reads to allow a greater and more diverse coverage of activities.

 

Celebrate the 2020 Australia Reads campaign 

Due to the ongoing pandemic it will not be possible to allocate authors for in-person Australia Reads events this year. However, there will be three virtual events to celebrate the many benefits of reading run by the Australia Reads team.

Australia Reads also comprises of many library-based events, and we invite you to run a special event during this period. It could be an author talk, a trivia night, a book club, a book themed movie night or whatever you like. We are encouraging both virtual and in-person events (where it is safe to do so). If your library is keen to host an author talk, check out ALIA’s webpage, Online author events, which has more than 100 great authors your library can contact for online events.

An events page has been created to list these events. To have your library event added to this page, please send us the details of your Australia Reads event at media@alia.org.au. There are free resources you can use to promote your event, including an online tool to create customised Australia Reads art and these transparent animations for promotional videos. You can order books written by the Australia Reads Ambassadors through your regular book distributor. Even if your library is not hosting an event, do encourage your patrons to take the pledge to read for one hour on 12 November during the Australian Reading Hour. They can also celebrate reading during the lead-up to the event, by using the hashtag #AustraliaReadsAtHome on social media.

Learn about the Australia Reads Ambassadors

To help focus the campaign and highlight some great Australian authors, we have Australia Reads Ambassadors. The adult Ambassador is Dervla McTiernan, alongside the children's Book Ambassadors Anna Fienberg AM, Jacqueline Harvey, Peter Helliar, and Will Kostakis. And for the first time, there is an illustrator Ambassador, Beck Feiner.

 

Background

In 2012, Australian libraries and library associations came together behind the National Year of Reading, linking together all the great things that are already happening around books, reading and literacy, and giving them an extra boost, with inspirational programs and events taking place across the country. There were more than 4,000 events, $5.6 million in in-kind support, $26 million-worth of media coverage, much of it highlighting the fact that nearly half the population struggles without the literacy skills to meet the most basic demands of everyday life and work. There are 46% of Australians who can't read newspapers; follow a recipe; make sense of timetables, or understand the instructions on a medicine bottle.  Following on from the success of the campaign, the 15 founder partners decided to carry forward the Love2read brand into 2013, making the most of the momentum that had been created during the National Year of Reading. In 2017, ALIA and book industry partners broadened the campaign into the Australian Reading Hour.
 

 

Australia Reads is made possible by its supporters

The ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance; the Australian Booksellers Association; the Australian Library and Information Association; the Australian Literary Agent’s Association; the Australian Publishers Association; the Australian Society of Authors; Better Reading; the Copyright Agency; and the Office for the Arts