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Seaham Library to host World Book Day® special event to grow community of young readers

Seaham Library is one of 20 libraries receiving funding to deliver an exciting all-day event to help children read for pleasure


Attendees will be able to meet authors, Tọlá Okogwu and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and exchange their World Book Day® £1 token for a £1 book – for free


As part of this year’s World Book Day® celebrations, Durham County Council’s Seaham Library will host an exciting new event, bringing books and the enjoyment of reading to the children of Seaham. The event – a partnership project between the charity and UK libraries, and funded by Arts Council England through its National Lottery Project Grants programme, Julia and Hans Rausing – will take place on Monday 26th February and will provide local school children with the opportunity to discover a love of books and reading ahead of the charity’s annual celebration on Thursday 7th March 2023.


The fun-filled event will see school children meet two of this year’s World Book Day £1 authors  –  Tọlá Okogwu, author of Onyeka and the Secret Superhero*, published by Simon & Schuster and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, author of The Doomsday Date*, published by Usborne. Children will enjoy workshops, readings and games – all with World Book Day’s unique fun and celebratory atmosphere. Attendees will also have the chance to get involved in a costume workshop run by Seven Stories The National Centre for Children’s Books.


Seaham Library will also receive 1,200 free books (100 copies of the World Book Day £1/€1.50 books donated by their respective publishers), enabling the library to become an exchange hub during the token redemption period (15th February – 31st March) so that children can exchange their £1 World Book Day book token for a £1 book of their choice – for free.


The event is part of the charity’s mission to improve children’s access to books and provide them with opportunities to develop a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than family circumstances, parents’ educational background and their income[1] – but research from National Literacy Trust found that fewer than 1 in 2 (47.8%) children now say they enjoy reading.[2] This is the lowest level since 2005, and reading enjoyment is lowest among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.[3] With up to one million children in the UK never owning a book[4], the charity is working in areas with above average percentages of children receiving Pupil Premium support, and limited access to local bookshops.


World Book Day’s partnership with libraries will see 20 libraries around the country bring this community led initiative to children. This includes the areas of Mansfield, Seaham, Runcorn and East Ham.


Seaham Library will also receive further funding to host a follow-up event in between April – July, to encourage children to continue visiting the library and discover a love of reading.


Tọlá Okogwu, author of Onyeka and the Secret Superhero says: "Libraries are such an important resource and as a child, were one of my favourite places to visit. Indeed, both my daughters have had library cards since they were six months old and our weekly visits are a great source of fun. I’m beyond excited to be part of this event and look forward to engaging with readers to help kickstart a love of reading."


Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, author of The Doomsday Date comments: “I can’t wait to visit Seaham Library for this very special World Book Day event and share with the children my love of books and reading. I feel strongly that books should be accessible to everyone, and that reading shouldn’t be a privilege but a right. This is why libraries are so important, because for people who can’t afford to go to a bookshop, libraries are a safe haven. They are a place where your race, class, gender and sexuality should not matter. Libraries are a revolutionary space, and should be protected and funded.


“World Book Day was always my favourite day of the year when I was at school so I am thrilled that children up and down the country will have the same opportunity I did to get their hands on a book of their own – for free –  and discover the joy of reading.”


Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships adds: “We are delighted that Seaham Library has been selected to host this exciting event which is set to inspire young minds and show them the joys that reading can bring.

“We know that reading is crucial to a child’s development and hope that this event will encourage more young people to develop a long-term passion for reading as they discover some of the many benefits it can bring to their wellbeing.”

Cassie Chadderton, CEO of World Book Day concludes: “With reading for pleasure is at its lowest level since 2005, our charity’s mission to change lives through a love of reading is more vital than ever. We are grateful to Julia and Hans Rausing and our partnering publishers for their generous support to help bring books to children across the country. Libraries are full of reading joy and discovery. We look forward to seeing more children enjoy their reading adventures with libraries this World Book Day.“


Visit for more information and don’t forget to Read Your Way this World Book Day!


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