Becoming a reader is at the very heart of responsible citizenship. But as we find ourselves caught in the fierce updrafts of an information hurricane, we often lose sight of what reading — as an intellectual activity — contributes to our sense of self, our cultural awareness, our capacity for self-expression and, ultimately, our notions of engaged citizenship and the collective good. Reading, after all, is about so much more than a technical act that allows us to communicate, consume media and perform the activities of daily life. To be literate is necessary, but it is not enough.
What is Canada doing to foster a reading culture? Many countries around the world have developed a national program to promote reading among children and the general population. In Canada, individual provinces and communities have made steps in this direction; however, because schools and libraries are the most obvious focus for public reading initiatives, and both are under provincial and municipal jurisdictions, we have no coordinated national strategy to promote reading.
How do we Canadians go about building a reading society?
The TD National Reading Summit will bring together writers, educators, librarians, academics, publishers, business leaders, and public officials who care about crafting a blueprint for a reading Canada. Speakers from across the country and around the world will share their research and experience in developing reading promotion programs, and delegates will lay the groundwork for implementing new programs and policies with both provincial and federal participation.